Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Chapter Twenty six

The weather over Britain last week has proved too much for the country once more. We have watched scenes of blizzard conditions; snowdrifts; temperatures in some places averaging -10c; the usual, recent British winter really.
Schools have closed; people have been advised to only journey if necessary; many millions of man hours have been lost in the work place; traffic on  road, rail, and sea at a standstill; and even the airports closing because of conditions.
The British authorities always seem to be caught out in the snow even though it is an annual event. I do find this incredible; although, mind you...Royal Mail always puts on a great show of astonishment over the amount of mail that arrives at Christmas. That's an annual event as well; yet you wouldn't think so judging by the shambles that surrounds hard working posties every December.
The mind truly boggles.
Actually; the reason I mention the blizzards, the snow, the ice, and the -10c conditions is not to take a back handed swing at Royal Mail. Not at all!! I only mention it because we haven't seen any of this at all down here and we are all feeling quite smug.
The forecast the other day showed a map of Britain with 98% of England coloured white or blue and denoting Arctic conditions. The odd 2% of the map was coloured yellow and showed more pleasent weather including sunshine and temperatures on the plus side as opposed to minus. This 2% on the map turned out to be the coastal region of Cornwall including ( drum roll), 'the Roseland'.
And that dear reader is were we live.
I admit, there has been some cold weather and most mornings the car windows needed scraping. I also admit that the 'easterly' that attacked Portscatho a couple of days ago practically shaved the hairs off me legs. I would even admit to an entire day of rain that never stopped for fourteen hours.
But we have also had loads of sunshine; blue skies; not a drop of snow; and the only ice I saw was at the bottom of a whiskey tumbler.
We have been incredibly lucky with the weather down here so far.
However, I'm only taking the mickey. You may not believe it...but my heart went out to all my mates at Farnham struggling out with the post. I remember what it was like last year when we got sent home and I had to walk back to Godalming. Thank God for the kind soul in the 4x4 who picked me up and got me to Puttenham.
I also remember the day I slipped in the ice on delivery at Wimble Hill. I hit my head hard on the ground and lay in the snow dazed and unmoving for a minute or so. I shall never forgive those two car drivers who drove straight past and ignored me.
So I confess that I don't miss that old nonsense at all.
Even though the weather has been better here than elsewhere, the garden has still been full of birds queueing up to eat from our bird feeders. They are eating us out of house and home. Coconuts full of fat and mixed seeds are devoured in moments. The tube of fat balls, and the peanut feeders as well; are scoffed in a matter of hours. Linda also has two industrial sized feeders containing seeds and both of these are wolfed down quickly.
Why we bother with a ground feeder as well, I don't know. There is as much scattered across the lawn by the birds who all then congregate on the ground and stuff themselves silly on the leavings. More birds walk out of this garden than fly out, let me tell you.
It wont be long before the birds of prey start hovering over the garden and swooping down thinking our garden has become a supermarket for them as well.
We even have four robin's, ( the most terratorial of birds ) in our garden. Not only do they not fight each other, they actually sit down and have a meal together. Very odd.
If they are like this when the weather is not to bad...what are they going to be like when it does get really bad. I have visions of them moving in with us and renaming the house. Instead of 'Hillside' we shall end up as 'The Nest' or 'The Aviary'.
Its quite scary, and remember; 'The Birds' was written in Cornwall long before Hitchcock made it famous.
Linda's brother, Jason, and Natasha came down here for the weekend. They stayed in a hotel on Friday night but came around to us on the Saturday night. Linda hadn't seen him for a while so she was pleased to catch up. The four of us had dinner in Mevagissey that evening and all was good fun.
As it turned out, Linda would have probably seen him this week as she has gone 'up-country' for this half term week.
Now that I am just a 'new entrant' with Royal Mail I have lost my six weeks leave entitlement that I used to have. I am now down to the basic minimum. As a consequence it means that Linda now has more leave time than I do.
 She drove back up to Surrey on Monday morning and is staying at her mum's. This will give her ample time to catch up with family and friends before returning at the end of the week.
I however, have been left to fend for myself.
It's not too bad although I miss her very much. My day's are taken up with doing Ellie's duty because, she too is on holiday. This gives me the van job every day. I knew I was going to be working a six day week this week because there are only three of us who can do her duty...and the other two are both away at the moment
What I was not expecting was the phone call I just received a few minutes ago asking me to do both deliveries over the next two days. It is hard work when you do both jobs on your own, as I will be doing two days of thirteen hours a day.
I could have done without it but I feel I should contribute more to the household. I will get an extra eighteen hours pay on top of my forty hours this week, so I can't grumble. I wont tell Linda until she gets home though because she worries about me.
That's about it then for the moment. I'm off to make 'bubble and squeak' for my dinner and then I guess it's an early night for me.

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