Life, photos but not the universe


Well, as I prophesied, within a fortnight of ditching the weed I have a cold.    Pfffftht.

And after a promising few days of weather so mild that I was fishing out cotton tops and linen trousers, followed by a couple of days so cold that ice seemed to be blowing through the house every time the cat flap opened, it’s settled back to wet, chilly and not very nice.  In fact right now a wet, gloopy sort of snow is falling.

And just to enhance the experience of living in an oldish, draughty house in winter, I let the central heating oil run out.  Oh ok, not for any reason.  Just foolishness!  The gauge on the tank was always odd – not obviously related to the contents at all and recently it seems to have stopped registering any changes at all so we checked the level of oil by putting a stick through the top of the tank.  And as the tank is cylindrical when it’s gets below half, the level drops faster than when it’s above half.  And of course we’ve been using a bit more in the last few months.  So although it looked quite healthy when I last checked it, it’s been emptying faster and faster since then and suddenly it was all gone.  Idiot!

Never mind, as this is an old house, it is designed to help its occupants withstand cold and winter and all that, so we have two wood fires and fortunately an electric immersion heater for the water as well as the oil fired boiler.  Though as John, our helpful friend pointed out, it’s only when the boiler stops working that you realise the immersion heater has too.  Just a couple of unwashed days until he was able to fix that little problem for us.  And then in the attic rooms, there are electric wall heaters and in Barney’s stamp room there’s an electric fan heater as well because of the peculiar properties of the insulation up there.*

Anyway.  More oil has been ordered.  However, there’s a surcharge if we ask for it to be delivered within five days instead of ten.  Almost, we decided to pay it and then we thought actually, £240 is too much.  After all, people lived without central heating for centuries.  In fact, when we moved into this house we did!  We can do it for ten days.  Oh and look!  The snow has stopped and the sun has come out.

The day after the two very very cold days, I went off on an expedition – since it was only very cold.**   Some time ago I noticed a rocky outcrop opposite Silbury Hill across the A4 (that’s Silbury Hill – the rocky outcrop is behind me somewhere)


and when I looked it up I discovered that it is the West Kennet Long Barrow.   I’m not sure why I thought a freezing day with a howling gale would be good for trudging up an exposed hillside but I did it anyway.  The barrow was strongly reminiscent of Waylands Smithy




and definitely worth visiting, though by the time I’d got to the top of the hill I was too cold to bend double and wrestle my way inside – if that was even possible.  Another day maybe?  There was a tree at the bottom of the hill which I liked so much I almost decided not to bother with the barrow at all.



Well apart from the weather, the hills and the heating, we’ve turned 39.  Our wedding anniversary was the day before Mothers’ Day so we got visits from the girls – and I even got an early Mothers’ day wish from Eldest as I had to contact him about something totally unrelated.

Now I have to build up the fire so it will stay in overnight.  And make plans for tomorrow.  I hope you are all keeping warm : )

*There’s a mysterious, carpet level draught that sweeps across the attic rooms.  The source of it cannot be identified and no amount of muffling and stuffing of corners or cupboard doors will stop it.

**And one of the advantages of driving is that you can get really quite hot in the car – especially if you don’t have to keep the window open to let smoke out!


March 17, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. An Arthur Rackham tree! Sometimes, faeries can be detected in such hidey holes. Sometimes, they live in draughty attics ‘cos they like teasing people. 😉

    Comment by dinahmow | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  2. £240 !! That’s real blackmail! I bet it turns up within 5 anyway as they are more interested in grouping other deliveries
    Congratulations on 39 years and also 2 weeks of faglessness.

    Comment by Rog | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  3. Well done on the not puffing and the sticking together!
    Next time you fancy burrowing in the barrow I’ll meet you there with cake, or we could go somewhere close by. It’s years since I’ve squeeze in there!
    Your flat ghostie is still bothering Barney then, or as Di says it might be fairies, it being too cold, wet and miserable at the bottom of the garden.

    Comment by Linda | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  4. Oops! I was so carried away with barrows and trees I forgot to say “happy anniversary.”

    Comment by dinahmow | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  5. A very happy anniversary to you both, unfortunately Owl and I won’t be reaching that land mark or at least the odds are against it I don’t expect either of us will still be on the planet by then.

    Comment by ladyinredagain | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  6. Happy anniversary!

    Comment by Z | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  7. Thank you all for the various congratulations.

    I agree Dinahmow, about the tree but the creatures in attics are goblins aren’t they?

    3 days Rog so we got a sort of bargain?

    Oh what fun Linda, but in Summer I think.

    I’m sure you’ll have your own landmarks ladyinred : )

    xxxZ : )

    Comment by Mig | March 18, 2013 | Reply

  8. Need to do some research about goblins in attics but I rather think fairies could just as easily be up there. Congratulations on everything: no smoking, 39, and toughing out the cold. Makes me realise what a wimp I am, feeling cold when the temp drops to 14. And I’d love to live in a land of barrows!

    Comment by Carol | March 19, 2013 | Reply

  9. Awwwwww……congratulations to the both of you. And wow….what a fantastic spot with an equally fantastic tree. Kinda echoes the cool spot, that tree…..ya think the fairies were going for that when they did that?
    FEEL better….and hopefully they’ll deliver that oil sooner than later–without that astronomical fee. GOOD grief! That’s horrid!!
    Oh, but the photos are lovely! 😉

    Comment by Mel | March 19, 2013 | Reply

  10. Did I say freezing Carol? I think actually it was about 12 or 13. However that is much colder than warm sowe’re not really wimps at all.

    It is a brilliant tree Mel isn’t it.

    Thank you both : )

    Comment by Mig | March 19, 2013 | Reply

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