It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily. “So it is.” And freezing.” “Is It?” “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said , brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
~A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh stories~
The snow was still falling, light and dusting, drifting down in the most lazy of fashions covering the already knee deep lying snow with a dusty of perfection. Snow-boots were a must if I want to be out and about. Although the pavements were like an ice rink , I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to be out and about in the pristine white washed world. I just loved the trees casting feathers of snow from their branches and looked as if Mother Nature had gone mad with the icing sugar and sprinkled everywhere. It was magical, very Narnia-like.
There is nothing in the world
More beautiful than the forest
Clothed to its very hollows in snow.
it is the still ecstasy of nature
Wherein every spray
Every blade of grass
Every spire of reed
Every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance
Throughout the week, the campus had been buzzing with the winter graduation. What a photographic opportunity for the graduates and their families to have their memories captured among the snow showers in their flowing gowns. Unfortunately, the areas surrounding the Arts Centre was cleared of snow. It was a pity no one was brave enough to walk on stage wearing wellingtons. That would be soo cool :-). Anyway, hats off to our new graduates.
This week we also gave a toast Ae Fond Kiss to the Scottish bard, Robert Burns. My colleagues and I celebrated Burns Supper by having a Chinese at Wing Wah :-). Sacred bleu!!! We nearly had to cancel because a weather front dubbed a ‘snowbomb’ was forecasted. A final blast of snow was expected to be dumped but thankfully we were already in the restaurant and was too busy getting stuffed to notice. We were expecting to be snowed in but a pity it didn’t happened. We could just continue eating…
As usual, I started my first course with sushi, prawns and mussels. I wasn’t please with the starters that I’d another plate laden with the first course. For my main course, I’d the stir fried egg noodles with bean-sprouts, steamed fish, tiger prawns, mussels in black bean sauce and Chinese vegetables with the seafood medley all washed down with steaming cups of Chinese cha. Yummy. We checked out each others laden plates. We girls can really eat. CM brought her bf along and I bet he was shocked to see how much we could put away. It was a night of good food, laughter and bonding. We also wanted to wish RSC good luck because she will be off to have her baby.
Earlier during the day, most of us sneakily watched another Scottish lad, Murray, beat Federer in five sets to set up an Australian Open final against Djokovic on Sunday. Woo…hoo. His inner resolve was the critical factor as he saw the job through: 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 to play in his third final. I was up far too early on Sunday morning to watch the game but abandoned an hour later. It was heart breaking to hear on the radio that the world number one, Djokovic, had won his fourth Australian Open title as Murray's hopes of a second major win ended in pain. I’d to stop watching the game because the day dawned bright and sunny and we wanted to check out Bradgate Park. It was lovely to see the sun after weeks of dreary, cold weather. We headed towards the main car-park and found out that the authorities had closed some parts due to ice and mud. So we drove to the third car-park. It was freezing, very windy and there were pockets of snow snuggled among the rock crops. When the wind blew, it cut right through to the bones. And then it began to rain. Eeek….
But we continued our adventure. We spotted a Kestrel hunting by the reservoir. Although the weather wasn’t favourable, there were still hundreds of people out and about. We walked past the fields towards the waterfalls. We’d never seen River Lin so high and so fast before. The snow had thawed very fast. We turned back and walked towards a herd of Fallow deer, feeding among the bracken We watched a pair mock fighting, their antlers clashing and crackling. I guess they were practising for the next rut.We didn’t stay long because it was freezing and the weather began to turn for the worse. We made a pit stop at Groby Pool and were glad we did. A snow goose was spotted among the Greylags standing on the frozen pool. Someone was feeding the ducks and we waited to see if the goose would waddle closer. We couldn’t wait long because we were slowly turning into ice-cubes. Yesterday was another day spent at our favourite playground. A thermos of coffee was a must because it was bitterly cold in the hides. The Big Freeze had given way to the Big Thaw as warm winds from the South West swept across the country. The rising temperatures had sparked floodings due to the rapid thaw of the built-up snow and ice. It looked like the current cold spell had gone out with a bang. According to the Environment agency, one way to minimise flooding was to build a snowman. Unfortunately, when I got up Saturday morning, all the snow had been washed away :-(. In the reserve, we treaded carefully on the very, very muddy and slippery path. The once pristine snow was now slushy and disgusting. We spent more time watching where we put our feet than checking out the natives. It was that bad. The Robins were still out and about but they were busy singing their hearts out and being territorial. Despite the melting snow and ice, the reserve hadn’t been flooded but the main island was still underwater. We spotted the distinct stripey patterning of a Shelduck asleep in the middle of the frozen lake. We continued on towards East Marsh Hide. It was very quiet here, even the usually noisy Wigeons stopped whistling. A gaggle of Greylags flew in and among them was a White Goose. We watched them swimming leisurely from one end of the lake to the other. After a swim and a quick wash, off they go, flying towards the golf course where they will be grazing on the grass. We then made our way to Carlton Hide to see if I can catch a glimpse of the Gold Crest which Babe had spotted a pair earlier during the week. Again, it refused to turn up. Next time, perhaps.Babe managed to take photographs of the squirrels when the garden was blanketed in snow. Despite the deep snow, they remained active and was out and about hopping in the garden, ransacking the peanut feeder. I’d to put sheets of wire on my pots to prevent them from digging and storing their treasures. Soon, they should be charging after each other as the time for courtship reaches fever pitch. I couldn’t wait. After a fortnight of sub-zero temperature, the temperatures were set to increase. Hopefully the sun was shining wherever you are so that we can wrap up freezing January on a warm note together.
If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.
I am sending get well wishes for my uncle F, aunt HAR and cousin ZJG. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.