9 Dec 2017

8th December 2017 And don't call me a snowman!

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Friday 8th 38F, 3C, breezy with a risk of sunshine. Denmark has set its lowest maximum daily temperature since records began back in the 1870s. There was talk of being the wettest year too. It stayed dry for my walk except for a sprinkle of slow rain falling out of a blue sky long after the cloud had passed. Disturbed two deer which dashed off across a vast field. Only a few small flocks of mixed birds in the hedgerows. It look as if it will take another day to clear the vast pile of big bales.

I was allowed out for a shopping run. My Sigma 16-16 STS Cadence computer has been complaining about its battery since it turned cooler. So I changed the battery only to discover it had no memory for the old settings. So I have to start from scratch. Only 7 miles. Correction: The settings reloaded automatically after a time but I couldn't get the docking station or online software to work. Once registered it wouldn't let me update to a later model. And, I still don't know how to change between Summer and Winter times.

Saturday 9th 35F, 2C, breezy and rather cloudy. The wind was too keen for my hands as I wandered the lanes looking for a photographic opportunity. The mink gulls didn't mind my going past once but my return spooked them into flight. I have to go out shopping but the distance is still up for debate.

The Head Gardener eventually allowed me out for a ride. But five days after claiming delivery at what passes for the local post office they still can't find my packet! The special offers on offer from the next lying supermarket chain were as non-existent as usual. When does repeated false advertising become fraud? Or are they too big [and offshore owned] to prosecute? 15 miles.

One of the blind bends which overtax the skills of a great many drivers. Site of many NDEs. 80% of all drivers cut this corner. Including buses, lorries, vans and cars. Probably 5% overshoot the corner well beyond the double white lines. Some end up with all of their wheels on the wrong side of the road. Including vast, articulated lorries. Placing themselves on a direct collision course with oncoming vehicles. Several vehicles per year, every year, leave the road completely beyond this corner. Those who overshoot may be responsible for innocent drivers going off-road just to avoid them! Though excess speed is probably to blame for most excursions into the deep ditch just out of sight.

On an unusually optimistic note: The GripGrab 'Nordic' lobster claw gloves are really excellent so far. Though I have yet to rely them below freezing nor in the rain/snow. I have ordered another pair so they can be rotated and washed regularly. The only major problem, so far, is re-educating the daft, old, tricycling clown to blow his nose with one finger while riding along. 😎

Sunday 10th 32F, 0C, overcast with 2" of overnight snow? I don't remember ordering snow and THG certainly didn't. She hates the stuff! Fortunately we have suitable implements to tackle it these days. So clearing a track to the gate isn't too taxing whatever the snow depth. A suitably large, commercial plastic scoop on a long handle makes an excellent snow plow. Using a steel builder's shovel is the work of the devil. Pointless and completely exhausting. The shovel is too tiny and far heavier than the snow to be shifted. A garden spade even worse!

The curved plywood, commercial snow plows aren't ideal either. No lifting and carrying power for the light stuff. You can shovel loads of snow with a nice big plastic plow with a proper, shovel-shaped head. The snow slides off effortlessly. A metal blade along the front edge is handy for longer life when scraped along concrete or paving slabs.

I have spent my entire life clearing snow while neighbours didn't. The worst was when we came to Denmark and had to clear 100 yards of our shared drive covered in a minimum of 40cm [16"] of drifting overnight snow.

It took us several days while our young and legally responsible neighbour watched, ponced around on his mobile phone outside and grew fatter. As soon as we had finished he drove down to his outbuilding to collect crates of beer! We only needed to get out to buy food because we were down to nothing by the time we were finished!

Walked for half an hour along snow and slush tracked roads. It's really not worth staying on the road in these conditions if vehicles are approaching. If the cars want to avoid you they will have to drive through the uncleared tracks. Which are probably very slippery and dangerous not to mention the likelihood of my being sprayed with wet slush. So everybody loses. I retreat to the back of the verge so the traffic can remain safely on course. Then I don't get splashed or sprayed. I even get a friendly wave from some drivers for my thoughtfulness. It started snowing again soon after I returned.

Click on any image to enlarge.
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