Sunday 31 January 2016

A Sense of Snow

If you live in a climate where snow is a normal winter event, I think that you develop 'a sense of snow'.  There was a time in my life when I never considered that there are different and varying types of snow, from the light powder to the heavy wet snow which fell on Friday night.

It started as rain and as the temperature fell, large heavy flakes started to fall.  The first ploughing occurred around 8 pm, but it appeared to have little impact on the amount on the ground when we awoke on Saturday morning.

Everything was covered in a heavy wet blanket and we had listened to creaking and groaning during the night as the trees were bending under the weight.

The clear-up was a huge and lengthy job: much harder than shovelling that powdery snow of the last storm.  Little moved aside from the neighbours as we were all too busy digging out to venture far from home.

It looked pristine and white, but was a challenge to clear and it was more than three hours before I managed to get the front and side decks of the house cleared.

It is difficult to give a sense of perspective when everything is a blanket of white.  This is the view from the front of our house.

Another view of the maple tree in our front garden.  The heavy frosting of icy snow is clearly visitble.

Looking down our street after the plough has been through.  Big banks of snow are left at the side of the road.

My car, buried yet again.  I seem to spend my life digging out at the moment.

There is a heavy ridge of snow on our roof, but we are not planning on venturing up there to clear it.  We have seen some of our neighbours on their roof-tops, busy snow clearing, but we have a very steep roof.  We are hoping that the arrival of some milder days during the coming week will do the job for us.  

Wednesday 20 January 2016

The Day After

It was Monday before the remainder of the huge bank of snow at the front of our drive was finally cleared.  The task of digging out took at least eight hours in total and that was a combination of manual digging and ploughing.

We have enormous piles of snow at the side of the drive and on the garden.  They have reached such a height that I don't know how we will be able to add any more to them.  The bad news is that another winter storm is forecast for this coming weekend.....

Sunday 17 January 2016


We awoke to a heavy overnight snowfall.  This is the view from our kitchen window.

There was far more than forecast and it has been a major operation trying to dig ourselves out.  That bump is my car!  You can just make out the mirror and the aerial.

Beneath this mound of snow is a minivan.  The main problem with trying to dig out is that there is nowhere to put all of the snow until the road has been ploughed.

The snow on the drive was almost knee deep.  Just trying to walk was a challenge.

The back garden covered with a heavy blanket of snow.

The view of our street from the verandah of our house.  A neighbour was snow blowing in the distance.

The front garden with the maple tree deep in snow.  

The digging has continued for much of the day.  The hardest bit is digging by hand, but much of the area around the vehicles and the entrances to the house is inaccessible with our little plough.

A Radox bath was much needed after all of this effort.  I'm just hoping that there will not be another significant snowfall any time soon.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Cranberry Bakewell

There was quite a story to this baking session.  I made a cranberry bakewell tart for a pre-Christmas lunch with friends.  The first stage of the process was to make a cranberry jam with fruit and sugar.

Once completed, the jam was added to a pastry shell and then covered with a frangipan filling made of ground almonds and butter.

It all seemed quite straightforward until it came to the baking stage.  I made this tart in a loose-bottom tin and the filling leaked in the bottom of the oven.  I walked into the kitchen to find thick black smoke and flames in the base of the oven!  Anyway, all as well after a few stressful minutes and I even managed to salvage it and add the icing.  

It certainly tasted good, with no evidence of the trauma involved in the baking process!

Thursday 7 January 2016

Very Downton

It seems that Christmas came and went in a flash.  Where do the days go?  The build-up to the big event was hectic and I was back to work last week for those days leading up to New Year.

One of the gifts that I received was a (new) vintage Regent of London dressing table set, still in its original box.  I have to admit that I knew this was coming as I found it on eBay, but I had resisted the urge to peep when it came in the post.

As a fan of Downton Abbey, I have often admired those beautiful dressing tables adorned with perfume bottles, vanity mirrors and brushes.  I may not quite achieve the same degree of perfection as Lady Mary, but I do like the quality of these pieces.

The set includes a handmirror, hair brush, comb and clothes brush, adorned with this pretty fabric design.

Imagine my delight when I found a matching mirror located here in Canada.  It is the same design and I think that the reason that I was the only bidder was that no-one knew its provenance.  It did not have the Regent of London sticker on the back and was just listed as 'Made in England'.  

The set now adorns my dressing table and I am so happy with it.  It looks like the pieces have always been together and it is hard to believe that they were more than 3,000 miles apart.

I received my touch of Downton at the conclusion of the series.  Downton may be over, but I will have years of pleasure from this set.  

Wishing you a Happy New Year.