After our exciting winter break in Belgium and France, I must admit I was dreading the tail-end of winter, as it always hits me like a tonne of bricks, especially during the last couple of weeks of January and early February. However, living in this beautiful farm/campsite in West Sussex, surrounded by large fields, trees and all kinds of animals and birds, stunning sunrises and sunsets, I haven’t even felt the slightest bit of the feared SAD. Maybe the large roof lights on our new Bürstner Aviano help, for I cannot complain about the lack of light. We have also managed to keep quite warm with our efficient gas central heating during the day and even during the freezing nights, recording -5ºC, by switching on a little electric heater that we bought for this purpose only. This means that when Adonis gets up early in the morning to go to work, the temperature is hovering between 7ºC and 9ºC, which is much more pleasant. This is no joke, as even the grey water has frozen over night and it amused me greatly to find stalactites hanging from the waste water pipe!
And it is not just our waste water pipe that has frozen, but this also extends to the farm’s drinking water pipe and the toilet cassette rinsing tap. I made the mistake of emptying the said cassette one frosty morning, only to realise too late that I could not rinse the waste disposal unit or the cassette itself, so from then on I have been waiting until lunchtime when the weather has warmed up enough for the water to defrost. The same goes for filling up the clean water tank.
Of course, these low temperatures mean we need more gas and more electricity, so he have been going to the nearest garage to top up our gas tank every weekend for fear of running out during the week while Adonis is at work and even the electric meter has needed topping up more frequently to cope with our electric heater. We just hope the temperatures will start rising soon.
Having Beano to walk morning and afternoon has also helped keep the blues at bay and this way I get to enjoy even more the gorgeous landscape around me.
Another beautiful event that took place recently, was the amazing Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse on the night of 20th-21st January. I confess I did not get up at 5 a.m. to see it, but I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it the evening before this momentous event. Here is my effort:
Amidst all the frost and snow, I was surprised and very excited to see these daffodils pushing through the ground and about to flower. Now I know that spring is only round the corner.
We have not forgotten about William Henry Saysell, our relative who died in the Second Battle of Ypres in WWI and doing some more research on line, Adonis put me in the direction of another blogger who has dedicated an immense amount of time and research on this matter by the name of Shaun Mcguire, to be found at http://www.shaunmcguire.co.uk, which turned out to be most useful, offering various links for different purposes and even photographs. Although we did not find any photos of W.H. Saysell, we did find out that he was part of the Monmouthsire Regiment First Battalion, that he had the number of 429 and that there are two local memorials in Newport, Wales, where he is mentioned. We also found photographs of the Monmouthshire Regiment First Battalion, but we cannot be certain that W.H. Saysell is in them. We still don’t know what he looked like.
It is important to keep busy and active this time of year more than ever, I think, as otherwise one can only too easily fall into the trap of becoming a couch potato in the absence of the need to go to work, so I have tried my hardest to do just that, finding an activity to force me out of the motorhome and the farm everyday. I was delighted to find Zumba classes only a 15-minute drive from here at Felpham on Thursdays and Fridays and I have been going religiously. I must confess that, after an almost 18 months absence, I was quite rusty, not least because the instructor, who happens to be the same as prior to our year-long trip, has come up with a whole new set of songs and routine, which has completely tested my ability to focus and keep up. From being always at the front of the class, I felt it would be best to keep at the back and follow everyone else. I have been relying heavily on two ladies in the row in front of me who seem to know what they are doing, as I cannot see the instructor so well from the sea of heads in the rows in front. I didn’t mind getting it all wrong to begin with, but I am getting there now and as I become more and more familiar with the songs, I can anticipate the moves ahead without having to look at my ‘neighbours’. I got talking to them at the end of the class and one of them suggested doing the next class too that she was staying for, Booty Barre, but preferring to do classes on different days, rather than 2 back-to-back, I decided to give it a go this morning, Tuesday, and I loved it. It is all very balletic and graceful and great for stretching legs, back, arms and keeping a good body posture: I shall be back!
Lastly, another activity that has kept me busy during this cold winter days is my all-time chill-out hobby of crochet. Adonis bought me a crochet magazine for Christmas that came with a supplement to make some of the Mr Men and Little Miss series figures and I have been having a lot of fun making some of them. So far, I have completed Mr Clever, Little Miss Sunshine, Mr tall and Mr Strong and I am currently working on Little Miss Princess. This enterprise should keep me busy for a while…