Thursday, 9 December 2010

Warmer today

It was a positively barmy 5 deg C today, and more cloudy, so we had a quiet morning in the cottage, then went on a 5 mile walk in the afternoon, as the snow was melting. It wasn't as photogenic a day as yesterday, so I only took one while we were walking:
And another one once we were back home, where Jacksie kept an eye on Lara while she had a makeshift bath:

Tomorrow is a big day, Lara's 3rd birthday, so we'll be packing up from here in the morning, and head back to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a small party in the afternoon. Lara appreciates that it's her birthday, but I'm not sure she knows what's in store tomorrow...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

-18 is a bit much

We woke to a shortage of water this morning; the -18 deg C overnight temperature froze the water in the supply pipe to the cottage. The owners supplied a large container of water for us, and by the time we came back in the afternoon, the temperature had risen enough for the water to be flowing again. This evening we have had problems with the boiler, as the overflow pipe froze, but this was fixed with a kettle full of hot water and a tea towel round the pipe for insulation. High technology!

In the meantime, we drove over to Keswick. The weather was amazing, clear blue skies, with temperatures hovering around -7, and this made for some great photos. The drive along minor roads was a little hairy in places, but the lack of traffic on a December Wednesday morning meant trundling along at 30mph maximum wasn't a problem. It just gave us more time to admire the scenery.
Once in Keswick, we headed to Ashness Bridge. It's one of the most photographed places in the Lake District, and if you have a look at the updated Web Album, you're bound to recognise the view up to Skiddaw. We didn't have it all to ourselves, but it was certainly quieter than during August Bank Holiday weekend. The boys were able to run free for a while - Mishka had his saddlebags on, which prevents him for sneaking through small gaps as well as saving me from having to carry our flask of soup, amongst other bits and pieces. We spent a couple of hours there, enjoying the view, playing with the sledge, and watching four RAF fighters zoom past up the valley, not much higher than us.
After a quick trip around the shops of Keswick, we headed back to the cottage, where Lara demolished a huge tea and hit the sack, probably for another good night's sleep.
Check out the updated Web Album for today's photos, and here are a couple of videos to give you an idea of the conditions...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Sledging (and not the cricket type)

We arrived yesterday afternoon at the cottage we're staying in this week, just north of the Lake District. The roads were mostly clear, apart from one side road which was blocked by a tractor, and the farm hand driving it suggested that the road would be impassable, so we had to find another way. I had to smile, he bore more than a passing resemblance to the bad guys in the movie Deliverance. I'm quite glad we turned around, I wouldn't have wanted to get stuck at his farm!
The cottage is lovely, Lara has her own room at one end of the building, complete with an en-suite and even a Freeview TV so we can put Cbeebies on before bed if necessary. The lounge, with christmas tree and woodburner, is at other end, next to our bedroom. Right outside are fields where we can take the boys (on their leads, there are sheep around) and where we took Lara yesterday afternoon for her first proper go on a sledge. She absolutely loves it, not scared at all, and can't get enough of it.
It snowed again overnight, and today we didn't venture very far, just to a field that the cottage owner suggested is the best local sledging place. We had it too ourselves, and could even let the boys off the lead. We couldn't resist the chance to attach the sledge to their leads, and when we had a go later in the afternoon back at the fields next to the cottage, we got more adventurous and had both boys pulling Olga and Lara. Mush!!!
We hope Lara sleeps as well tonight as last night - nearly 14 hours, from 6pm to 8am. She's had a more active day today too, so there's every chance we'll all get a lie in.
Anyway, here is a new Web Album with some photos and videos, and I'll update it as the week progresses (Click once on the photo to go to the Web Album page, you can play the videos there).