Saturday, December 4, 2010

Still iced in - mostly

Looking towards the flat bridge
On Thursday we decided to try to get the car as far as Ryan's Bridge (a five-minute walk). The trickiest, iciest section of the track out is close to the house. We have to cross a flat bridge then make an immediate right turn up a hill. There was thick ice on the bridge and on the other side, so Joe went down with a pick axe and shovel. Hack hack hack,  a severe application of sand and we were ready to make the attempt. We took precautions - two sacks of sand and a shovel in the boot of the car and off we went.

Dogs at Ryan's Bridge

 It was unnerving going across the bridge - it has no sides - but over we went and up the small hill on the bend without a bother to park at Ryan's Bridge, the point where our track meets the slightly bigger track. There were the tracks of two vehicles. How dare they drive up and down here? The more the snow compacts the harder it is for our car to get traction. Didn't these people know they were adding to our problems? What did they think they were doing using our public road. Hrummph hrummph.

We left the car at the bridge. On Friday, we thought, we'd be out of here no problem.

Woke to thick snow, on the ground and still falling. Looked like we were in for the duration. But a miracle thaw (okay, it had been predicted by the weather people) began around midday. We phoned a neighbour who said cars were passing from Scarriff, so we set off for the car, hats on, walking sticks at the ready. In Scarriff it felt like coming down from the fringes, from the Wild West, the mountainy people staring wide-eyed at the big town where you could buy stuff.

Loaded up with supplies we felt secure. Among our purchases were two packs of butter -  required for pastry for mince pies. I make gluten-free pastry and butter is what you need to use - with margarine the pastry becomes frighteningly stretchy and unwieldy. The first batch of mince pies had been delicious. We were looking forward to this second lot. I'll just send a quick email, I thought. While my back was turned the range took off to hot hot hot. Four of the mince pies were just about edible.

Back from walking the dogs. It's freezing fast and getting treacherous out there. The bit of thaw hasn't helped one bit. At the top of the hill we realised we were being surrounded. Great banks of freezing fog. The mast on Maghera mountain was just visible. Slieve Bearna had gone altogether. The fog is all around the house now. Maybe I'd better stuff old socks and knickers under the doors to stop it getting in.

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