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Brass monkeys

January 15, 2020

Yes, my friends, I do believe it might be cold enough outside to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

It’s certainly cold enough to have caused a panic last night when the water stopped coming out of the tap when I was rinsing my toothbrush. And the pump under the house went into overdrive. Yikes.

First thing first. Check the circuit breakers. Has the breaker for the well been somehow tripped? No. Okay, second thing next. Turn all the lights on that side of the house on and go out with a torch to investigate. What happens when I switch the water source from the well to the cistern? (Which luckily I can remember how to do.) Ah. The pump stops going mad. Come back inside, try bathroom tap. Water pours out. Hurrah. It is so cold the well pipes have frozen. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Normally I sleep with one of the bedroom windows open. Not the past couple of nights. Normally I don’t get the fire going first thing in the morning. (Me, British. Heat, optional.) Not the past couple of mornings. Luckily this morning there were still some embers in the woodstove left from the huge piece of wood I put in before lights out, so it was easy to get it going again. Also, the residual warmth meant I couldn’t see my breath inside the house, which is a good thing.

What a lot of weather we’ve been having this week. First there was the powerful windstorm on Sunday. It toyed with us for a good while before finally knocking the power out for several hours. Not just here on the island, but all over the coast.

Well, that’s okay. I have lanterns and a woodstove to keep me warm. Pity the poor sods who only have electric heaters. I confess (because I suppose I have to) I did while away an hour or so playing spider solitaire, but then I settled in for the evening in my chair with book in hand and cat on lap. Not a bad way to spend an evening. Happily the power was back on by the time I woke up Monday morning so I didn’t have to wait until the woodstove was hot enough to boil water before I could pump caffeine into my system.

Overnight it had snowed. It’s continued to snow on and off ever since.


This is the view outside the window this morning.

There is more snow in the forecast and with it, of course, another power failure. Trees can only be weighed down by so much snow before they or very large chunks of them collapse onto a power line somewhere.

How lovely it would be if I still had a functioning generator. No need to worry about having a cappuccino in the morning. No need to miss all the Sunday evening programs I was planning to tape. (Jane Austen! E M Forester! Stephen King! And just why are all the good shows stacked up on PBS, Knowledge Network and HBO on Sunday evenings?) Yes, it would be lovely, but I don’t have a functioning generator nor do I have the $1000 it would cost to acquire one.

Well, I guess I’d better get this posted and do my French homework before the power goes off. Brr.

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