A show of ice and snow

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The snow is melting away, the streams rush full and the ground squelches again. The birds no longer pester us for food as the worst of the cold is over……. for now.

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Our friend Mr.Robin looking fluffed up

Its been a hard time for everyone, we are sure, and we have received reports of people stranded and roads closed. We’ve had lots of folk write in and ask how we’re coping in all of this cold and snow, so here we’ll show and tell. Read on……

passing through

Wonderful White

The first inklings of iciness made the mud disappear and we were happy. Movement became easy and work progressed fine. Rain water was no longer coming from the generous Welsh skies and our water containers froze solid. We started fetching our water from a nearby stream, boiling and filtering before drinking.

Approaching winter Solstice the first of the snow arrived, as did Ayla’s birthday and some friends to celebrate.

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Ayla with Ed on her Birthday

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Birthday Ice

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Puffy snow house

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Rose and Will on Christmas Day

A new and exciting stillness lay over the woods, the mice cleared their front porches under the oak trees for the first few days, throwing the snow aside to get to the ground. After a few more days and more snow, dry firewood became scarcer, the mice gave up clearing their porches, and our excitement solidified somewhat. Still, we managed to have a beautiful quiet Christmas with Will’s birthday following shortly after and visits from a fair few friends, which we will talk more of later.

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Christmas day singsong

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the sea, the sea...

Its amazing how quickly you can get used to the cold once it settles in. As the days and nights got colder, we became more able to handle the frosty weather. The snow disappeared for a time, but soon after New Year the temperatures plummeted. We had nights of -18°C, where we wrapped our heads to stop out brains cooling and found it very difficult to get out of bed.

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Ed melting snow

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chop chop will

The mornings were down to -11°C, our hands hurt without thick gloves, and at one point Rose had frozen snot. It became more important to keep the home fires burning and water boiling. The stream decided to freeze except for a tiny trickle beneath the ice, but we were able to break a hole through and get enough water. We tried melting snow, but it takes so much snow for so little water at the end. We made sure that we started melting it in a bit of hot water to prevent the pans burning through.

The cold slowed everything down. When more energy was needed, less energy was forthcoming.  Anything we foolishly left outside froze solid. This included our vegetables, which became almost unusable. The wood was also all frozen solid, so cutting into stove bits needed both axe and saw, as the saw on its own just got stuck. Tis gave Will very stiff cold hands.

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Human's nest

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Purpling Hills

How beautiful it was to see the white hills when we left the woods. Its so easy for us to forget about the world outside, the clogged, slippery roads and the wrapped up people.

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Rolling down the hill

We managed a few fundays in the snow. On Ayla’s Birthday her friends whisked her off to the hills for snowballing. Just the other day Ed and Will rode on Eddie’s sled being pulled by his sturdy dogs. The speed is really something. After that came evening snow battles, wrestles and ambushes., and wet clothes.

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Girls on the hills

So as everything thaws out, we breath a sigh and stare in wonder at how green and brown everything is. Work seems so easy without the snow. We can actually get on with something other than just firewood, water and keeping warm. Still, we came through without too much trouble, a little tougher, a little more clued up on how to ready ourselves for the next heavy frosts if they should come. All in all its been a ‘character building’ experience as our Eddy says.

For more of our wintry photography, click HERE.

Breakfast in the snow

Breakfast in the snow

Thanks to everyone who worried about us during this time. We’re ok.

13 Responses to “A show of ice and snow”

  1. Florence Benoy says:

    hiya,

    i haven’t seen you guys since Ivor’s wedding! i love the yurt – is it really a yurt or do the windows make it a round house or something else… :-)
    i am in Wales (i live here now, doing different things to those i did in Kent) and i saw your photo in the local rag.

    your travels sound great, if a little cold at times :-)

    very very best wishes,

    :-)

    florence.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hey guys and gals – give us your news – its march and you must have defrosted by now – your fans in london need more tales of woodland fun and survival to keep us day dreaming on the cycle to work. cheerioioio xxx

  3. ryan says:

    salut les amis,
    was hoping to join you guys recently when ben, your brother and co vistited. was tyed up with work in brighton.
    its funny seeing your pictures and reading your storys, i’ve been living in the french pirenees for several years now, living in a van with the elements learning about the nature that surrounds me. my whole life revolves around what grows there.
    recently i’ve been living in a city, i never thought i would enjoy it as much as i have. we adapt quickly to our surroundings. i guess we have to. but your pictures remind me of where i really feel myself, i long to be back by my favorite rivers where i camp, wash, drink and fish.
    i’m hoping to come up and see you all in the next few weeks, it would be great to exchange storys face to face.
    your home looks great and your music beautifull
    merci mes frères et sœurs
    ryanxx

  4. S Atkin says:

    I love following your adventures after reading the article about you in the Daily Telegraph. All the best and keep living the dream for those of us less brave!

  5. Podcast Bob says:

    Very glad to hear you guys are okay. We were concerned you had been forced to bail. Respect to your fortitude.

    I’ve got just the thing for you when I drop by next couple of weeks which will help. An instant water filter, so wherever you are you’ll always have a drink. But you’ll have to find your own whisky I’m afraid!

    Looking forward to meeting you when the time comes. Take care. Bob

  6. Will's sister says:

    Very excited about my impending visit….

    Laura x

  7. Jane says:

    Hi Guys and Gals – I love the pictures, especially the purpling hills (breathtaking!) and the cute puffy snow house – it looks really cosy. I guess the soggy wetness will feel rather less comfortable than the very chilly snowiness!
    Just wanted to let you know that Barry has put up the pics of your album on the eco-packaging section of our website – http://www.davisrubin.com – with links to awab and to Alaric.
    Keep on enjoying and singing!
    All good cheer
    J&B

  8. Terry Tonik says:

    Great to see evidence of your well-being lads! You are doing
    wonderous things.
    The c.d. is great, playing it as I write – heartwarming.

    Keep warm and dry.

    Love,
    T.T.

  9. Will's sister says:

    love the photos, especially the robin…
    Laura x

  10. Mum says:

    I love your snowy pictures. Glad you are coping in this cold winter Love Mum

  11. I stumbled upon your myspace site and have spent the whole evening exploring this site. I admire what you are doing and a little envious though I could never stand the winter and now my bones are getting too old. Would love to meet you down some country lane and share a song, like Joni Mitchell said, maybe put on a harmony. Failing that, do another gig in London, I’d even pay! Can’t send donation just now cos of earthquake but I will try later. Keep warm, keep singing, best wishes, Irene x

  12. ruthie says:

    Hi to you all, i just wanted to say i have the greatest of admiration for you and the journey you are all making, what an incredible experience to travel the country in such a way going back to the “old ways”. I love the cd, your singing is heartfelt & won me over at once. I hope you will one day be in our neck of the woods?? wishing you the safest of travels & warm feet *ruthie

  13. Sue Harris says:

    Been catching up with your times and had been hoping to get over to the woods to see how you’re getting on. Roads too dodgy until this week. Now snow again, maybe not for long.
    All being well I will be passing on the way to do a singing group tomorrow and could bring anything that you might need. Let me know.
    Hope you wassailed the fruit trees by the way. We did ours here on Sunday beneath an exquisite new moon. So long SUE

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