Archive for the ‘winter’ Category

6th of December – some of the shortest days of the year

The year is coming to an end, the days seem very short now. Like in an hour glass time seems to speed up in the same way the sand rushes faster and faster as the top half of the glass is emptied completely. Obviously time isn’t really going by faster, but the hours of sunlight are so precious I can’t fit all the things I want to do into that time, those precious few hours are gone in a blip. Two more weeks until solstice…

I don’t remember ever having longed for that day as much as I am wishing it here this year.

Of course what is perceived as the precious daylight time is the opposite for the dark hours. They are long and plentiful. And yet they are dominated my a certain lethargy which I feel comes from being confined to the small space of indoors and the even smaller space of the heated indoors. So I try to make the best out of the daylight time with clear priorities of getting the essential things done first, the ones that are most weather dependent. And that would be looking after our stores of firewood, re-stocking anything we’ve used up so far and trying to keep the stores as full as possible just in case.

Let me elaborate on this for a minute for I feel I need to justify why we aren’t heating all of our house and leaving about a quater of it unpleasantly cold. The reason is that this house is so poorly insulated it looses any heat (18-20˚C) we build up during the day, during the night so it’s always around 10-15˚C every morning. I see no point in even attempting to heat the back room and bathroom with these kind of heat losses overnight.

The forecast for next week is for very cold weather (-6˚C) with the possibility of snow. Snow would be interesting. It’s two years since what will probably be known in the collective Irish memory as the bad winter with all the snow. Such weather for us noobs here on the hill is hard to imagine. I guess we could really do with at least

  • a snow shovel
  • and food stores
  • and fuel stores
  • and snow tires
  • snow chains
  • and anti-freeze.

But besides crampons (snow chains for our feet!), the food and fuel stores we have very little on that list, yet I’m not worried. I know we won’t go hungry and we will be warm and we are here together. What more can you ask for?

I cut in two
A long November night, and
Place half under the coverlet,
Sweet-scented as a spring breeze.
And when he comes, I’ll take it out,
Unroll it inch by inch, to stretch the night.

— Hwang Jin-i