There was a lot more snow overnight and Eloise cat was not at all pleased. She kept asking to go out (she’s reluctant to use the cat flap nowadays, we think because she doesn’t want to run into Chip, the second next-door cat) and then hovering on the threshold and coming back in again. Eventually, I showed her the litter tray and she showed an interest; later she went back to it and I heard her rustling around and she used it, to extremely smelly effect. I have no evidence that she’s had a wee all day, though – but cats can last ages when they want to and I know she’s been drinking, so I’m not concerned.
The wind hadn’t blown the snow into drifts, luckily, but there wasn’t a place in the Dutch barn where the cats could feed in the dry. They came to be fed in the morning and were glad of food, and I put a bowl of water for them too, but they were nowhere to be seen this afternoon. I suspect they’re holed up in the big barn, where it’ll be dry and where the mice will be sheltering too. Most of the hen run also had a generous sprinkling where snow had blown in, even in some of the back half where the sides are covered over; it’s usually dry in there as the tin roof comes well over at the edges. I’ve been out several times with fresh water, it’s frozen within a couple of hours. The chooks have sat on their perches when they haven’t been feeding, except for the good girl who laid me an egg. I’ve taken out a couple of old sheets and arranged them as a windbreak, it felt a lot better in there afterwards: strong winds are forecast for the next couple of days and they’ll need a bit more shelter. It’s -5º now and isn’t set to go above freezing for a while.
I accidentally got into a discussion yesterday on Facebook with a couple of chaps who had the usual line about people being wimps and wusses nowadays, and children should have to go to school every day, regardless of the weather because back in the winter of 1963 all schools kept going throughout the awful winter. All I’d done was explain, as a point of information, that sometimes the reason a school closes is because the bus companies phone the Head to say they won’t run a service that day because of the weather, or will come early to pick the children up. It was the usual tedious thing from people who think they’re proving something by clogging up the roads when the police ask that unnecessary journeys aren’t taken, and that children having a snow day is a waste of taxpayer’s money – a specific point made. The happiness I’ve seen from pictures of families, out sledging and building snowmen, and staying safe off the roads (the other pictures on social media are mostly of stuck vehicles, even on main roads), is far more worthwhile than a day at school, I’m quite convinced. It’s not that we have this weather very often. Of course, sometimes schools are shut when the forecast bad weather doesn’t happen, and some Headteachers are so risk-adverse it’s absurd, like the one who’s forbidden all his pupils to touch snow at all in case they’re tempted to have fun in it, hurt someone and he’s the one sued (he was more concerned about the latter point than the non-existent injury), but it’s certainly not reasonable travelling weather today. Son-in-law Phil set off on his bike as usual, had to come back because it wasn’t possible to bike and took the car, as Weeza was looking after the children – Sledging! Snowmen! Brilliant, happy family fun! – took as long to get there in the car as it would have on his bike … and the boss shut the office two hours later as the weather was so bad. But he kept his machismo and Good Employee brownie points and got some work done.
What I meant to write about was a similar sort of snowfall, when Weeza and Al were little and we lived in Lo’toft, a few years before Ro was born. But I’ve rather run out of the self-allocated space I’m inclined to use for a blog post. It changed the Sage’s attitude to his job, and thereby rather changed our lives. Tomorrow, darlings.