Rusty the dog.
Snow in the Driveway

I must stop being snow-gloomy in this journal. But it is snowing again, third day in a row. Blast! Oh yes, I can hear my North American friends giggling and clucking like chooks. How would I like three weeks? Or three months?

OK - I agree that fluttering snow is pretty, and much drier than sleet or rain. But I am poorly prepared (mentally) for this enforced in-house 'winterness'. And I am home alone - Non-Gardening Partner, bless him, is away briefly in Canada.

Wednesday 17th August

I just can't tell yet how badly trashed my garden is. Obvious signs are the Pseudopanax (five finger) tree-shrubs and Olearias with broken branches. Nothing large seems to have come down - yet! I so miss my proper gardening routines. And there's more. Pond Cottage has a leak! Oh no! But wait - there's even more...

Crocheting Disaster!

Aargh! A crocheting disaster - last night I checked the woolly blanket, and it is almost twice as long as any adult-sized bed I've ever seen. Utter embarrassment! But I've sorted it with the scissors and some ingenuity. At least now it won't take for ever to crochet just one row. Oh dear me. My crafty Daughter-In-Law will think I'm sooooo silly...

 What snow? I'm alright here...
Tiger Cat by the Log-Burner

However, I'd really like to be gardening in the daytime, not crocheting. Later this morning I'm walking to the store (which is a good half an hour away) with Rusty the dog. Not sure if I can get the car down the drive, and, anyway, my dog loves walking and I love my super-snug tramping boots.

Redressing the Cheerfulness Balance...

And finally, to redress the cheerfulness balance, my house is toasty warm, all my cats are fine (witness Tiger the tortoiseshell in the above photograph), my birds are super excited about their blobs of olive oil spread on bread, the sheep have shelter and hay, and I have brilliant outdoor gear (NGP's large Gore-Tex parka does the trick). So there.


No gardening as yet, but I've found some large pieces of trees down in the Hump. Rusty and I went off cheerfully for our long walk in the sleet (or whatever it was) and came back equally happy. So let's see if tomorrow can be another groovy, if quiet, day.

 Phormium, Nandina and Azalea.
Winter Garden Colours

Thursday 18th August

Yippee! The snow is melting. My positively-do-something and feel-garden-energetic mood has returned (I am so not a natural hibernator). So the plan is as follows. I crochet a row of my woolly blanket, and then take myself outside to supervise the snow thawing. I do a bit of shovelling and drive the car down the driveway. I get my loppers and start cleaning up the shrubs.

The only problem I have with my morning is that it's rain, rain, raining. Oh well - maybe three or four crochet rows? But I'm happier! Yippee!

Early this morning I found a large black and white cat by the back porch, but he/she ran off into the snow. Hmm... A lot of cats are still displaced as a result of the Christchurch earthquake and ripper aftershocks - many have 'lost' their home, or their sense of home. I wonder where this cat belongs?

The resident Moosey cats don't know how lucky they are - even Lilli-Puss, for whom I've made up a winter night-bed on the chair by the back door. Each time I've been out to get firewood there she's been, warm and friendly, saying hello. Oh - I almost forgot. My Son-In-Law, such a funny chap, has suggested harnessing Tiger the cat and using her as a snow plough to clear the driveway. Dear Tiger! What can he possibly be implying?

 Where the little birds hang out with their bird feeders.
My No-Snow Patio

One Hour Later...

Yippee again - that's three in one morning! I've been outside gardening in the rain, (which I promise never to complain about again) having a great time. The big Clematis arch by the Sleep-Out was down, so I've been trimming and cutting at that. Then I cleared the driveway of overhanging and broken branches, helped by Rusty and Lilli-Puss the grey cat.

 No problems with the snow for these charming flowers.
Winter Primroses

The melting of snow is now pretty advanced around the house patios etc. and only the deeply shady, sheltered lawns and gardens are still covered. It's such a change from yesterday - I love it! The garden has its colours back, and I even saw a flash of blue sky in the clouds. Nice.