The beast from the east

We’ve had a big old load of snow! And look at these icicles on the front of my conservatory! Like huge frozen carrots! Weather conditions here are pretty brutal and the snowstorm that brought it over was dubbed ‘beast from the east’ on account of it coming from Siberia. We were all warned not to go out yesterday as storm Emma was on her way and would meet the beast and cause all kinds of havoc. A bit like Godzilla and King Kong. Well, if it happened, it was pretty gentle compared to the beast.

The roads are thick with snow and I wouldn’t dream of venturing anywhere in the car. Public transport isn’t running, schools are closed, as are most of the shops, and everyone where I work has been told to work from home until conditions improve. It’s pretty serious for us. And of course there was no bread in any of the supermarkets by Tuesday evening! Panic buyers.

I woke up yesterday to this giant Christmas cake outside the window:

The heating is on, the fire is on and the oven is on. Am braising a big lump of beef nice and gently and keeping the kitchen warm at the same time. The only time I’ve been out is to take food down the garden for the birds – cheese, the last of the Christmas cake, bird seed, nuts and dried fruits. It didn’t stop snowing yesterday and the poor things sat huddled up on branches looking like little waifs. I went out three times yesterday to keep their food from being covered by snow and to put more out. Our local robin loves cheese and is always one of the first down, as is a lovely blackbird, who looks as fat as a chicken but I think the reality is that he’s fluffed up his feathers to trap his body heat and insulate himself.

I’m running out of things to give them but will mop up some of the beef fat with a bit of stale bread and chop a lump of cheese to make them a high energy meal to help keep them going.

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