I’ve been watching the cats struggling through the snow (and we have had plenty of new snow overnight), and I am yet again struck by the sheer impracticality of those Germans who choose to keep a dachshund as a pet.
Not too bad under the trees...
If you only have the odd inch or two of snow it’s not too bad. For a cat that’s sort of ankle-deep. For a dachshund that’s already over the knees.
I'm getting ice in my armpits Mum!
But we’re talking serious snow here… well up to a cat’s shoulders. So what do dachshunds do? Tunnel through it?
Yet another load of snow has dumped over our region overnight. In the last couple of weeks I have acquired an Umlaut. I used to say: “Ooooh! Snow!” Now it’s more of a: “Öööööh Snow!”
I can tell that I am becoming German though, because this morning, I found myself outside with a shovel clearing paths between all the various doors on our farmhouse. What on earth has got into me?
Here are a few pictures of our latest snowscape.
View up the lane
(Minimal) Germanic snow shovelling has taken place.
Probably where Santa lives...
Strangely enough, I can’t seem to interest the cats in this natural beauty at all!
Wake me when it's spring....
Getting ready for Christmas is one of those mammoth tasks that I usually can’t even get my head round without either going back to bed or reaching for the sherry bottle (usually in vain as we finished it last Christmas).
This years preparations were particularly fraught, because just when there were vitually no shopping days left, all of a sudden huge quantities of snow fell from the sky. Lovely and Christmassy, you might say….
… but not if you’re trying to do the shopping and the car looks like this!
So during the week running up to Christmas, we were all stuck at home. It would have been possible to dig out the car, of course. But in Germany it would have been illegal for me to drive it in these conditions, as I don’t have snow tyres.
For four days we sat tight, huddled round a log fire, eating whatever was already stored in the freezer or in the pantry. We went back to making traditional Christmas decorations, rather than putting up bought ones. My youngest daughter made some lovely scented baubles from oranges and cloves.
Finally the roads cleared enough for us to make one big supermarket run and stock up on everything we need for Christmas. The tree is up… the lights are on… there’s a huge stack of logs by the fireplace… so Happy Christmas everyone!
Following Monday’s snowfall it’s been exceptionally cold here. I don’t just mean freezing… I mean mindbogglingly cold. The sort of cold that makes icicles form on the end of your nose.
Not that this worries our cats, of course. They’re staying indoors draped over every radiator which is still valiently struggling to pump out heat into the arctic vault of our house.
Last night the temperature here fell to -19°c and the night before it was -23°c. Welcome to Meerbusch, Siberia!
As a result the snow hasn’t melted one jot. Even putting salt down doesn’t help in this sort of weather – the salt water freezes too. The view up our road looks like this (that’s our car at the bottom – we haven’t even attempted to get it out).
Meanwhile, our pipes have frozen. Turning on taps in the bathroom produces… well, nothing at all actually. Zero. Zilch.
I’ve been exploring parts of the house which I’d previously abandoned to the spiders…. trying to track down where water pipes run… and work out whether they are likely to burst when the thaw finally comes.
Sadly… a very cold and dusty hour later, I have to say I’m none the wiser! Ho hum….
… and we woke up to this! Can I go back to bed? Please.
What has happened to our weather? Christmas was so mild… and then all of a sudden at Easter… this!
Our farmhouse was just starting to look Spring-like with all the daffodils… and suddenly we’re covered in a dusting of unexpected snow.