Saturday, 23 January 2010

Where's my Spoon?...

It was cold (3c) and grey but at least the water wasn't frozen. Well there was the occasional mini iceberg but thankfully nothing 'Titanic'.

After about an hours paddling I hauled up on the sandy bank in the woods next to the military firing range. Apart from the sporadic bursts of machine gun fire and the odd explosion, it's generally very peaceful, the perfect place for a snack.

I was happy to wrap my cold donnies around a warm flask of coffee. When I came to eat my soup, I discovered I'd lost my spoon. It's somewhat difficult to search a kayak while it's wobbling about underneath you. Not in the for or aft hold, not sitting on it, not in the seat pocket, not in my dry bag.... where's it gone?? I had it a moment ago! I even paddled out to see if I'd dropped it in the water... GONE.

I suppose it'll turn up somewhere...

The cold weather meant I had the water to myself, and it was a joy to cruise along the mirrored surface. As the sun dropped so did the temperature, and so I headed homeward.

I'd only done 5 miles and would have been happy to carry on further. The darkness came, and I hadn't fitted the lights to the kayak, so I called it a day and loaded it onto the car. Can't wait for the return of the long days of summer...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Thwarted by the Thaw...

The day was sunny and warm (nearly 10c). I strapped the kayak to the car and set off. At first glance the canal didn't look too bad. On closer inspection I realised that the ice was still a good few inches thick.

A bit of melt water on top of the frozen surface gave the impression that the thaw was well underway, but on chatting to the narrow boat residents (who were furiously chopping wood for their heating) it transpired that they had been frozen in for weeks and didn't expect to go anywhere soon.

My search for liquid kayaking water was thwarted by flooded lanes. Infuriatingly the inviting blue always seemed to be in the next field.

The horse pasture was a tad damp too, although this horse was having a whale of a time kicking its way through the flooded patches.

The donkeys weren't in their normal air raid shelter hangout, and had been moved up to higher ground.


Eventually the lane disappeared entirely and I was forced to turn back. The flood was still rising and I didn't want to be cut off.

For a while it became confusing as to what was lane, field, or river, and I was glad to see tarmac again.


In my quest for a good kayak launching place I headed to a regular spot.


All the melting snow had made this normally peaceful stretch of river a bit rougher than expected. It was icy cold too.... I chickened out!
Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow...


video

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Snowy by name, snowy by nature...

It snowed again last night. Just as well too, there had been a nasty thaw and we were beginning to run short. By morning the layer of white made the garden look pristine... something would have to be done about it!

It was an icy, sparkly snow, like silver sand. A little too crumbly for moulding and my snowman didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.

Just as I was doing the finishing touches there was a horrible accident! First the head wobbled a bit, then unexpectedly toppled to the ground.
Mr. Snowman was... dead. We'll all miss Mr. Snowman, or 'Snowy' as his closest friends knew him. His life was short, but he lived it to the full, and at least he was spared the horrors of.... 'The Big Thaw'!!!

Endeavouring to put my loss behind me, I began a new sculpture.

Firstly I located a plentiful source of pink snow (not to be confused with that yellow snow under the hedge).

It was meant to be a dragon, but the wings kept on falling off, so it ended up being a seal pup/ polar bear with an alligator tail. Any suggestions as to what sort of creature this is, are welcome.
I've already got an idea brewing for my next sculpture, I just need to find some blue snow...

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

No Bacon is Snow Fun...

Snow at last! I love the snow. Other parts of the country have had a covering several times already this year, but we've only had the brass monkey temperatures without any of the fun stuff...

In the early hours I set off along the deserted roads. A quick stop at the petrol station, followed by a couple of drifting laps of the traffic island... the joy of 'left foot braking'!!!

The sparkly, powdered country lanes were beautiful in the glare of the rooflights. Spangles of silver danced in the beams as the front of the car flicked snow off the hedgerows. Driving sideways is so much fun!

I went to see my friends, the foxes. The usual chappy was there (you can recognise him by the nick out of his left ear).

He was somewhat impatient, and wouldn't stand still long enough for me to properly focus the camera. He's learnt how to open the car door, and was soon wrestling with the locked handle... he's going to break it one day!

On the menu tonight was, 'Bacon Surprise'... bread soaked in bacon fat but without any bacon... Surprise!!!

Still it smelt nice.

Very nice...

In fact it tasted so yummy that it made you forget that your bottom was getting cold on the snow.
"I wonder if there'll be raisins for pudding?"... I'm sure we can manage that.