Winter revealed (511)

by Max Akroyd

Snow has returned to Brittany, albeit just the periphery of the weather system burying the south of the UK in snow right now.

Garlic in the snow

But it’s enough to render the car almost useless. The supermarket, the doctor and the bank are now all out of reach. At times like this it’s good to have family close and all of life’s basics in store: food for the family, food for the animals and plenty of wood to burn. You ignore provision of any of these basics at your peril. If you can tick all of these boxes though, living is somehow enhanced, the enforced local-ness of existence a happy thing. The task list is shortened and there’s more time to just be.

It’ll soon pass and the mechanics of mundane life will start running again. But, until then, harsh winter weather provides a valuable insight: I imagine life after oil will be exactly like this, but permanently. Bitter and sweet.

Neighbour's broken barn


I’m locked out of the soil at present so outdoor options are severely limited. I’m saving the pruning of the fruit trees for a slightly less extreme moment weather-wise. It’s a good time, then, to visit the seed box and to prepare. Yesterday I weeded out the non-viable onion and parsnip seeds, today carrots and celeriac will get the viability test. I’m also going to dust off the propagators, plug them in and try and persuade the onion seeds that it’s spring. (I’m keeping an evolving record of each month’s sowings here).