Snow joke, this

It’s going to get a bit disjointed, this post as I’ve had to keep saving it and coming back to it as I’ve been so busy. The timeline is going to be all over the place – so keep your wits about you while you read it!!

Freezing, freezing, freezing, freezing, freezing, freezing, freezing, freezing.

It’s a bit chilly.

Thursdays dance lesson was fabulous. The first lesson after the Christmas break, the building had been closed up since Christmas Eve and it was sooooooooo cold.

The ice on the inside of the windows made beautiful patterns. We’d been hoping that John had arrived at 6.30 a.m to put the heating on but no such luck. He  got there five minutes before us.

After a quick brush up on the quickstep we moved on to the samba. I flatly refused to remove my scarf, gloves or fleece while we danced. I did have to take my boots off because it has been proven that it’s a bit tricky to dance the samba in walking boots ( believe me I tried).  Three steps into the dance I got a severe case of cramp in my toe. OW!!!!!!  Hopping round the floor while I tried to get rid of the cramp warmed me up a bit.

By the end of an hour of quite energetic samba I was still in my scarf, gloves and fleece, the ice still hadn’t melted on the windows. The central heating was trying it’s best but failing dismally.

Next up for a lesson was C.   I look after the baby while she dances. This week I watched dolefully as B left  – to the comfort of his lovely warm car while I had to sit in the ice cube for another hour and not even be able to generate any heat by dancing. My, that was a long hour!

The heating oil at home was the next weather related issue. Not only had we run out of oil but what was left in the pipes had frozen solid.  The engineers spent a good two hours  trying to get it working before finally deciding that the only option would be to run a new temporary fuel pipe into the house. We now have heat but the house STINKS of oil, small price to pay if you ask me.

We were so grateful to have some heat again that we really didn’t care how expensive the bill was.  Three of us  – five if you include the cats- huddled round a small fan heater just doesn’t work, I need central heating.

When the engineer left we were horrified to see that his van had got stuck on the track. Backwards and forwards he went, getting stuck at the same point every time. Eventually B went out to tow him out with our new, ‘worth every penny we paid for it ‘4wd.

Trying out my new Clarins  super duper extra strong anti wrinkle cream that B bought me for Christmas (  What’s he getting at??!)  I put on my glasses to read the small print. Why, I have no idea. How hard can it be?  ‘Remove face sized dollop of cream from pot, apply to face and neck’.

Diligently following the instructions I applied a generous amount of cream to my fingers,  then rubbed my hands together to spread it onto both hands and then applied it to my face. Shame I forgot to take my glasses off first.  I suddenly went blind as the aforementioned dollops of face cream landed on the lenses of my glasses. Boy, did I feel stupid, glad no one saw me!

Talking of stupid:

Due to the weather we have had no postal deliveries since before Christmas. I popped down to the local sorting office to pick it up. In with the usual bills and loan offer letters was a card from our friends in Lesvos.  I was a bit confused by the stamp. Whichever way I looked at it it didn’t seem to work.

No matter how much you like a picture, sometimes it just won’t work where you want it to. I think I might have opted for a different pic myself. Either that or I have just fallen straight into the hands of the Greek Marketing Board who deliberately designed the stamp like this so it would get people talking about it on  a global blog. Very cunning. Lateral thinking, I like it!

My first epic, “why don’t we….?” of the year happened on Friday.

“Why don’t we invite all the kids up for sledging on the field followed by supper?”

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

STRESSFUL?????  You have no idea!!!!

The plan: Get up early, go to B & Q to buy a couple more sledges then go to Asda for meat to make big pan of stew.

The reality:  Got up late, B & Q had no sledges, neither did Asda, neither did… you get the idea.  Eventually we got a big blow up ‘Snow racer’ which looks like a jet ski.  Asda had limited meat stocks. I ended up with stringy, fatty, gristly meat that looked like it had already been chewed.  I think the butcher who sliced it may need retraining, it didn’t look sliced so much as torn of the bones by a rabid animal.  Still, beggars can’t be choosers and since I’d decided to cook this stew in the slow cooker (emphasis on s-l-o-w), I was rapidly running out of time.

Back home, B, sensing my panic, peeled a small mountain of spuds. Momentous occasion indeed, I don’t think he has ever peeled a vegetable in his life before today.  Following my instructions he peeled a whole 5lb bag. (Note to self:  5lb’s of spuds will feed a small army – must learn to count out portions when preparing food).

Eventually, the stew was prepared and in the slow cooker, with me praying that A. It would be cooked in time and B. That the meat would taste better than it looked.

When we got home C phoned to see if we’d have the baby overnight, and she’d be leaving early as she had friends coming round. No worries.

The family all arrived, C brought her friend, Ben, who was absolutely not dressed for the weather. Neither was Ol, E or C. Dur.  Did I not say we were sledging? Might the word, ‘sledge’ not imply that there may be snow, which by it’s very nature is cold, or that it may be a tad chilly at the top of a stonking great hill covered in the stuff?

The snow racer proved to be a huge success. Mostly because the other sledge didn’t seem to like the soft and powdery snow we were knee deep in.  Speeding down the hill was brilliant, walking back up it not so brilliant but a small price to pay. Ol and E didn’t last too long, they soon left for the warmth of the house.

When it was my turn, C’s friend, Ben decided to give me a push. A very big push. He lost his footing and landing in the snow as I did – in such a way that it all went up inside t shirt. It’s fair to say that I was less than elegant as I tried to get it all out a bit sharpish.

C and O raced off down the field on the snow racer when it was their turn, bouncing over the lumps and bumps, screeching and laughing loudly as they went before tumbling off at the bottom of the hill.

  It took those of us chatting at the top of the hill a minute to realise that all was not well.

Accounts of events vary at this point but the end result was that L had seriously hurt her arm.  She was clearly in  a lot of pain and after a little while the decision was made to take her to A & E. That trip took a good couple of hours.

Trying to be positive, the stew got the extra cooking time it needed. The meat got beyond the ‘bouncy on the teeth’ stage to lovely and tender. Shame no one was in the mood to eat it.

Half the family was fed while the other half languished in the waiting room at the hospital in the queue for an x-ray.  The meal was a very subdued affair with C feeling awful and blaming herself for the accident.  Just as we’d finished eating P & G phoned to say there were no broken bones, just a bad sprain and could we go and pick them up please?

The second sitting for the meal was as subdued as the first, with a tearful Liv and an upset mummy and daddy clearly just wanting to be on their own settee so it wasn’t long before B took them all home and our evening came to an early but to be honest, welcome, close.

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