Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Tree

Our garden is surrounded by forestry and we're forever getting fir trees of various types seeding themselves. Very handy at Christmas. Here's Joe bringing this year's tree to the Barn. It was a funny shape. A two-thirds tree, perfect for pushing into a corner. 

We started trying to heat the Barn on Tuesday. The walls are two foot thick, so once it's warm it stays warm, but my parents arrive tomorrow and it still feels chilly in there. The stove is burning coal, the central heating is running, the electric radiators are on. A Major Battle! A Race Against Time! Will it pass the Mother Test?

It's so cold that the river that passes through the garden is iced over. The water is still running underneath, leaving a strange elevated shelf of ice in places.

The waterfalls are gorgeous - exotic grottos that look like they belong underground. Joe took this photo of just below the flat bridge. There's a huge plate of thick ice there.

And Lough Graney has frozen over. We've never seen that before. It happened in January while we were away, but the previous icing over happened many decades before. No doubt there'll be some eejit trying to drive a tractor across it. 

The snow is so powdery. It's strange having no slush. Clear blue skies make it feel Nordic, or perhaps Alpine. Power cuts and water problems, however, are very much of this place. There was a major problem with the pressure tank - Joe had to diffuse it the other morning. Frozen pipes led to an increase in pressure. The dial was on dangerous red. He had to put on his flak jacket and make sure he snipped the right wire to save us being blown into the heavens.

No cold water again this morning, but the intrepid husband knew what he had to do - remove a yokey-me-jig and get a replacement diaphragm. Or something. I left him at it while I walked the dogs (we were in a rush to get to Galway to pick up the turkey). When I got back he was staggering out of the boiler shed clutching a halogen heater. Both he and the heater were wet. I didn't ask. Me and the dogs went quietly inside.

The tree is up and dressed. It looks very festive. The photos of it, however, are crap, so I'm putting the moody (aka not-enough-light-because-Joe-was-playing-with-camera-settings) shot up here.

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