I have decided to post this photo of smoke emanating from the chimney at night, but I must apologize about two things first. One: with all of the required scrunching and resizing required to post a photo that doesn't take an eon to load, most of the stars have been lost to sight. Should you choose to click, you will see some stars in the larger version, but it still pales compared to the original. Second: the following blog represents not my best effort; it's mainly a straight-ahead accounting, completely bereft of penetrating thought or analysis. I don't like to do that, but it seems to be all of which my slightly fevered brain is presently capable. For those who have been following along, it will possibly make some sense, but if you just landed here by coincidence, I won't blame you for clicking away.
As you will know from yesterday's (mostly photo) blog, after a week's hiatus, we are back in the country. Because there has been both rain and some mild weather in the interim, there is much less snow than before, but it was so plenteous to begin with, that the ground is still completely covered, though not nearly as deeply as it was before several days of rain and mild weather. In fact, for much of the trip from capital to cottage yesterday, there wasn't much snow at all, which caused us to fret mildly, but as we approached the cottage, the cover began to be more ubiquitous. The snow that remains is quite hard and crunchy, so it won't be great for snowshoeing. However, it remains deep enough that it will be better to wear the snowshoes than not. (Of course, you understand that I speak of walking the trails and fields and not the roads.)
After the freezing rain of Sunday, we were pleased to find the major highways clear and lightly-trafficked yesterday. For most of the journey, we perhaps enjoyed our best trip ever along old #7. It seems to be the type of road that encourages slow and erratic drivers: erratic in the sense of speed. Because I like to drive with cruise control, I prefer to drive behind someone who drives consistently slowly to someone who accelerates to 110 km/h (70 mph) one minute but decelerates to 80 km/h (50mph) the next. However, once we moved onto the lesser-travelled county roads, progress became problematic. Although these rural municipalities generally do an exemplary job of snow-clearing, I guess that it's a little harder to deal with ice; therefore, the surfaces were both rutted and slippery, which caused the last thirty minutes of the trip to be a little tense.
Once we got to the Riverwood driveway, which Cuppa calls Welcome Lane*, we were faced with a veritable skating rink extending from the gate to the house. After my literal run-in with a snowbank just before Christmas, I confess to navigating that stretch very carefully indeed. We keep salt in the house, enough to render the the short distance from the parked car to the house a little less treacherous, but one would require a truckload of salt to properly tend to the length and width of Welcome Lane. (See this previously posted photo and imagine the path to the gate to be all ice.)
*Cuppa names everything here; she has even produced detailed maps. However, nobody but she tends to recall most of the names. By dint of constant association with the lady, I probably recall more of them than most people, but even I have to ask occasionally. From now on I shall remember that the stretch of driveway from the gate to the house is officially (by Cuppa) called, Welcome Lane.
Some of you will recall that I wasn't well over Christmas and then posted that I was feeling better. After that bit of optimism, however, I relapsed. In round two, the throat is less sore, but there is much hacking and sputtering to accompany it. That's probably why I woke up at four o'clock last night.
Actually, I got up at four o'clock, but the truth is that I didn't sleep much after three and really gave up the attempt at four at which time I had some breakfast and did a little Net surfing. Nocturnal wanderings are not all that unusual for me, but they usually occur earlier in the night before I have been able to fall asleep in the first place. Another oddity of last night was that Cuppa got up too. She doesn't do that sort of thing as she is quite devout about her sleep, and when she's in bed for the night ... well she's in bed for the whole night. But after visiting the loo, I returned to find her sitting in the living room scribbling in one of her journals. Apparently, I had caused just enough commotion to awaken her, whereupon she decided to try to recall and commit to paper the contents of a dream.
In the event, we both fiddled at this and that until five o'clock, at which time we both felt tired enough to head back to bed where we remained until almost eleven o'clock this morning. We are not exactly early risers at the best of times, but we are usually up between eight and nine o'clock. However, the many late family nights at Butterfly's over the Christmas-NewYear week have wreaked havoc on our schedule, and we found ourselves sleeping ever later as the past week progressed. On top of that, the several hours of lost sleep caused by my hacking, sputtering and nocturnal wandering, made us exceptionally lazy layabouts today. I do hope that I get over this germ attack soon as it begins to wear thin.
I must wrap. Aren't you glad it's over?