Sun, snow and saunas

This week has continued in much the same vein as the previous ones, although a minor miracle occurred on Saturday when the sun appeared along with a beautiful blue sky, which certainly lifted the spirits. Who cares if the temperature remains at -10 degrees all day when it is sunny?! I took advantage of the change in weather and went for a drive up the road to Newport Center, itself, where there was a lovely view of the mountains and the houses benefited from a lot more sun during the day. I then drove in a loop and back to Newport town to do some shopping.

Road into Newport Center
Road into Newport Center
View of the mountains
View of the mountains

I finally took delivery of the sauna on Wednesday. Apparently, the crate was too heavy for the tail gate on the truck but the carriers had neglected to tell me that last week when I rang to rearrange the delivery that didn’t happen. As it was, the driver had to break the crate apart and each piece had to be off loaded individually. Fortunately, Mike, the contractor next door, was available to help the driver as he couldn’t have managed it on his own. The heavy solid cedar wood wall panels are now stacked in the garage and the bits I could carry, I have taken to the basement. All I have to do now is chase up a contractor to come and fit it all together. The duties of a housesitter know no bounds!

The finished sweater
The finished sweater

On Friday evening, I had a very pleasant evening with the neighbours and Mike, who is staying in the house. The food was good and the conversation, as usual, very varied. Fortunately, the snow plough had cleared the driveway in the morning and I could drive the car out as I had decided that trying to wade through the snow on the bank might prove a little too difficult in the dark.

The sweater is now complete and, surprisingly, wearable, with enough wool left over to knit some gloves and a hat, which is also a new experience for me. Knitting with 4 straight needles in rounds proved a bit of a challenge at the start but, luckily, I realised I was going round the wrong way before I started on the thumb shaping. It could have produced some interesting shaped gloves otherwise!

I now have a relatively snow cleared path, having done a considerable amount of shovelling, although I was beginning to wonder at the futility of it all when the snow seemed to cover it again almost as fast as I could clear it. However, it has lasted a couple of days so I live in hope that is might remain!

And the good news is…..

Very murky morning
Very murky morning
My morning's work
My morning’s work
Reflections through icicles on the roof
Reflections through icicles on the roof

The temperature has risen to 3 degrees and there is the beginnings of a thaw. Hooray!

I have taken advantage of the conditions and spent a couple of hours this morning shovelling slushy snow (so much easier than the icy stuff!), giving Mother Nature a helping hand.

I am trying not to think about the probability of it freezing again before all that snow has melted!

My 'path' to the back door
My ‘path’ to the back door
The weather got worse by lunchtime
The weather got worse by lunchtime

One degree and tropical

I have spent the week hibernating whilst outside the snow and cloud have descended. The lake is frozen and covered in snow and Bubba and I have had to wade through 8 inches (20 cm) of snow on our thrice a day walks. This is surprisingly hard work for me but Bubba appears to relish it and bounds around with remarkable ease. I have contemplated the snow shoes but, given my non existent ability with skis, feel I would be asking for trouble if I actually used them.

The snow plough has been twice in the last couple of days and cleared the drive, which would be marvellous if I had the urge to take the car, with its snow tyres, out (I don’t) but, as I quickly discovered, rendered it lethal for pedestrians. So now I have one or two more bruises to add to the ones obtained when I tripped up the solid wood staircase the other day.

Today feels positively tropical, the temperature having risen to a balmy 1 degree. I even had to remove my scarf and gloves whilst walking, although kept the orange fluoro hat on so that the almost mythical hunter would not mistake me for a deer. Admittedly, I was also wearing silk thermals, a merino t shirt, wool sweater and very thick, warm jacket, so wasn’t exactly dressed for summer.

Having decided that grey sky, cold and snow is not my natural habitat, I have also been researching my escape to warmer climes. Cuba here I come! Luckily for me, the Canadians regard Cuba as a wonderful destination for all inclusive holidays, which mean there are some cheap flights from Montreal.

Aside from the hours on the internet, I have been making progress with the knitting. After all, it has to be finished if I am to get a chance to wear it before departing for the tropics. The back and front are now finished and I am almost up to the armholes on the sleeves. However, there is a slight variation in the colour. It might be the same wool but is obviously a different dye lot. At least it will be unique!

Bubba in the snow
Bubba in the snow

Our main excitement of the week occurred last night. As I was watching Alan Yentob’s ‘Imagine’ programme about Scrabble (very interesting and worth a look), the lights started flashing on and off just like they do in spooky horror films and two minutes later went off completely. Bubba stuck close to my side as I groped my way to the garage to find the torch and then the candles and phoned the AKB (Almost Kiwi Bloke for those readers who have forgotten) next door to make sure it wasn’t just me that didn’t have power. (It wasn’t.)

There followed an exceedingly quiet couple of hours with me reading by torchlight and Bubba with his head in the normal place as close to the fire as he could possibly get it. (I’m surprised his brain hasn’t fried by now.) The only sounds came from the 4 phones that kept beeping to tell me they were not charging. Eventually, even they gave up and there was total silence. Has anyone noticed how much noise fridges and heat pumps make? It is quite a rare occasion when there is no sound at all in a house and it was a most enjoyable and relaxing finish to the day. (And, yes, the electricity did come back on before I went to bed.)