Friday, 22 March 2013

Wrath of the Weather Gods?

The last 24 hours were a period of miner disasters and we are wondering what we have done to anger the weather gods.

It all started yesterday evening with a box of Tunnock bars which got nibbled by mice and ended with the gas running out at North Haven so we couldn't have a bedtime drink or bake our lovely wholemeal bread. Under normal circumstances we would have taken the tractor up to the farm to get new gas bottles but it was blowing quite a hooley (unfortunately in this case meaning a gale force 7, whereas in its original sense a "hooley" or "hoolie" is an Irish term for a loud and boisterous party or a celebration) and lashing down with rain so we did not fancy the ride.The strong winds also meant that we had to postpone the arrival of our first group of volunteers, which ultimately means more work for us.

The next morning, after a night of listening to the rain hammering against the windows and feeling the entire house shake (the latches to the attic fly open whenever we open the front door) we got up groggy only to find that the uncooked wholemeal bread had overflowed its container and was slowly but steadily covering the entire inside of our oven. After cleaning the mess, fearless Ed finally set out towards the Farm wrestling the natural forces - and all without having had a cup of tea. After a very cold and long journey, our tractor crawls at a snail's pace, Ed arrived safely back at North Haven with the long awaited gas bottles.

So in theory this could have been the end of our woes but some days just have it in for you. The next thing that went wrong was that the unruly dough just would not cook - no matter how long we left it in the oven. In the end we ate it semi raw with our (by now cold) fry up at 1300h - what a breakfast! Then, just as we were sinking satisfied back into our chairs with a belly full of beans and mushrooms the wood burner did a smoky burp and surrounded us with a grey cloud. Immediately we jumped to the rescue and opened a window. A lovely fresh breeze got rid of the smoke but unfortunately also blew a painting off the wall and shattered the frame. We had just cleared up the pieces when we received a phone call from Richard Kipling, our field assistant, telling us that he was very sorry but had found a permanent position and wouldn’t be able to work for us this year. Shortly after, our assistant warden Nia called to say that the wind had ripped off a window at the farm and that she was patching it up with wood.

But dear reader, don't worry! We are fine, we and the buildings are still firm on the ground and we even have found a replacement for Richard already. We are very happy that Lewis Yates will be our field assistant this season and we are also very happy for Richard to have found a permanent position. Now the only thing that needs to improve is the weather...

View from North Haven on Sunday 17th

Same view today :-(

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