Saturday

Just how strong was the wind?

From a non-technical perspective, last night's wind was a) strong, b) noisy c) cold. Arriving home on the stroke of midnight I was unable to put the car on the drive as I could not open the gates. It took all my strength (and I am no sapling) to push the gate open enough for me to get through.

My rented house is lovely in the summer, a cool respite from the heat. In the winter it is draughty and cold, so I pull all the shutters down to keep the heat from the fire in and the weather out. Actions duly taken I retired to bed and lay there until about 4am unable to sleep due to the noise of the wind. It sounded as if I was in the middle of the fiercest storm, the wind screamed along the side of the house. The shutters rattled and not for the first time of a winter, did I lie there wondering how much would be left in the garden, would my huge beast of a car still be there.

The car is always there of course; the wind is not as strong and fiercesome as it makes out with its bellowing and howling. I tried to find the actual wind speed data on the internet (but gave up, not that interested really) but found instead a table with scales of wind strength. From the descriptions I think that we were somewhere in the 'near gale' to 'gale' category. Near Gale gives the description that 'whole trees sway' - well that certainly was the case - and Gale has 'Twigs break off trees'. I have carried out a quick reconnoitre of the immediate area and there are a few more twigs than yesterday. So, from that information I can deduce that the wind speed was probably between 51 and 74 kph (32 and 46 mph). That's pretty fast.

This morning there are blue skies a few puffy clouds and a light breeze, and even that is subsiding. Peace reigns again in the valley. Thank goodness.

Friday

Autumnal Spring

The windy, rainy cold part of an autumnal Spring has hit today. There may be new lambs in the field but, as in England, that does not marshall in good weather.
The rain has been well and truly blown away and whilst blue skies dominate my view the trees and bamboo are bending like a limber ballet dancer.
The fire has been lit and I wish that the curtain designed to curtail the draught under my front door was hanging in front of it, not residing in the seamstresses' shop.
The dogs are playing havoc indoors as the front door is firmly shut so they cannot go in and out as they choose. I think they are the wrong side of said door!

2nd December

Its not very Christmassy outside - thank goodness. OK so snow looks lovely on Christmas Cards but in practicality when you have horses to see to, chickens to look after and already find it hard walking because of a hip problem.... sorry folks give me a lovely sunny, crisp non-snowy winter's day any time!

Have you ever noticed how pale a blue sky is in winter? In summer it's a rich, dark, deep blue, today it's more like white with just a hint of blue - no clouds, a pale, pale sky.
All the leaves are off the Big Tree now and not many left on my Wisteria.
Fingers crossed that it flowers again next year!

Wednesday

Lying in the sun writing is probably the best way to pass a day. That is the week so far, along with the odd dog walk.

Tomorrow brings shopping in the big city! Hopefully it is still too early for the Spanish to cram the streets of Malaga for Christmas shopping and I can remain relatively unmolested. Fingers crossed!

30th November

Bright, bright blue sky, no wind - but a distinct chill in the air.
It's the sort of day to go for a lovely walk in the woods.
And I get to go Christmas shopping down Walthamstow market instead.
Pah, who drew the short straw then? :-(

Monday

28th November

Rain! Steady and not too heavy. Dropped the temps down as well. Nearly all the leaves are off the trees. Some bright red leaves are still hanging on the branches of the Burning Bushes. All my Pansies are enjoying the cool weather and rain! My dog is not. He becomes depressed every time it rains. *laughs* I don't mind the rain...rather soothing sound to me. Unless it is storming, which thankfully it is not this evening.


The Vultures are Circling

Just been further up the mountain with the boys for a walk. The vultures were
circling so a new carcass must have been put in their feeding pen. The sea
looked lovely, glowing pink from the sun. Unfortunately the camera did not take
the picture as the eye saw it - shame. On a clear day we can see the Atlas
Mountains in Africa but too hazy today.  We have lovely sunny weather and it is forecast
to continue for the rest of the week. Hurrah!

The slight pinkish tinge behind the trees - that is the Mediterranean Sea!


A close up of the vulture statue up the mountain.
I tried taking pictures of the real thing but a dot or disappearing tail feather was as good as it got.
This is much better!


28th November

Frosty this morning - a fine layer of white everywhere. That will mean the last of the leaves. One more "blow" from a strong wind and the trees will fall to bits. Naked trees - ooh cover your eyes! *laugh*

Sunday

Bizarre dreams continued (going to check the label on wine bottle. What am I drinking?) but fingers are still intact. A neighbour's garden smells divine at the moment as aromatics come into flower. I decided to take a picture of a non-smelly flower though (I don't think scratch and sniff is available on the inter-web yet). A nice sunny plant to lighten anybody's winter.

27th November

Yesterday we cleared the last of the geraniums and potted them up in various pots to put safe in the greenhouse. Fingers crossed they survive the winter as they have been beautiful in the garden all summer.
The garden looks a bit bare now - but has turned a lovely autumn colour.
WE went down to the stable yard in Waltham Abbey today (Kathy wanted me to watch her ride Lexie - gosh that horse is BIG - 17.2 at least)
WE drove home through Epping Forest. The sun was low - even at mid day so everything was a bit dazzled. Clear blue sky - a very pale blue, many of the trees that turned early now have bare branches, but the oaks, beeches, silver birch are ablaze with autumn colour  - mostly yellows this year, not many reds or coppers.
In my garden the big tree next door (must find out what it is!) has lost all its leaves, my hazel is a glorious yellow & the copper beech hedge is more yellow than copper.
The dogwoods have changed now - one has yellow stems, one red.
The wisteria (yellow leaves also) is shedding badly, I have to fish leaves ot of the fish pond every day.  The fish are still feeding, but not as much as when it was warm
Cold wind today - it got quite fierce during the night.
Kathy has collected loads of conkers - no idea what she is going to do with them though!
I'd love to plant a couple but I think a Horse Chestnut tree would be far too big for our garden - pity!