We're still snowed in and expecting more tonight. The pipes in the bathroom are frozen and the water won't drain from the sink. Even the shampoo was congealed. Partway through my shower Mike came in and dumped a 5-gallon can in there with me. "The outside tap is frozen. Can you fill that for the horses?" I shivered while I waited for the can to fill up. Parts of me froze and congealed.
The UPS guy dropped off some post-Christmas presents from my family in the US and - oh joy! - they were packed in bubble wrap. I've used it to lag the outside pipes and hopefully prevent more surprise visits in the shower.
Hey - Where's our water?!? And breakfast too if you please.
The prolonged cold weather has been affecting the wild birds. Sadly I've found a few little birds dead in the snow. Their metabolisms are so fast that they live on a knife-edge when food is scarce. They use up their fuel reserves so quickly and have a short time to refuel before they go into irreversible starvation. I try and help by keeping feeders filled with peanuts and mixed seed. A birdy buffet.
Still a few fresh-laid eggs in the shed - thanks ladies
The cold is also bringing birds like woodcock and snipe to congregate around swamps in sheltered areas. Tasty game birds. Mike and I took a walk with a gun and a dog because I love woodcock, and because I found an excellent recipe for wild game tortelli that I wanted to try.
I should have never gone out thinking of the bird as if it was already in the pot. There were lots of woodcock and a few came within shot of me. But I missed them all. I missed a pigeon too. I couldn't have hit a cow in the ass with a banjo today.
In fact the only thing I shot was a crow. From game shooter to vermin controller. Such is the lot of the keeper's wife.
Still, it was a pleasurable walk in a snowy wood with my husband, looking at all the animal tracks and spotting deer laid up on the bracken banks. And Dulcie had a great time flushing birds for me to miss.
Mukluks drying over the wood stove
We have a team shooting tomorrow and Tuesday, weather permitting. We're short-staffed, so I've been press ganged into loading for a Belgian Viscount. He's a kind man, but I always prefer working the dogs over any other shoot day job. Again, the lot of the keeper's wife is to do what's needed, even if it means wearing an ironed shirt and tie.
I accept my lot. But is it wrong to pray for more snow and a tie-free Monday?