Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Home Improvements


ShalX 1-1413

Now, I know, in the scheme of things (especially for North American readers) the snow and cold we have here in the UK at the moment, isn’t such a big deal, but it is unusual for the whole country to be so snowy and cold at the same time, so forgive us for going on about it, we like to talk about the weather at the best of times. 

There has been a flurry of discusion about ‘bad winters’ past, of 1947 and my fathers adventures (and I came across a tragic bit of local history about  the winter of 1947 the the other day, lives were lost).

Snow 1947

I can even dig a photo out of the shoe box of some serious snow in 1901

Snow 1901

I was around for the winter of 1963, in my fetching knitted snow suit.

Jane snow 1963

But given that we know there was a house on here, as far back as 1606,

Map 1606

which was during the Little Ice Age we can only  try and imagine how tough it must have been to keep warm and fed.

On that time line, our 26 year living here, is but a blip, but with a new roof, (so good not to have scrabble up there to dig out the snow that had blown under the slates) ground source heat pump, double and a dash of triple glazing and a new door that both keeps the snow out and is thicker that a single piece of plywood. Trust me we are very, very grateful for our warm and snug  home.

Spud and his feild-140701

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

15 thoughts on “Home Improvements

  1. Snow? What snow? It’s not the whole country yet!

  2. I am very envious of your ground source heat pump. I am old enough to remember that the winter of 1963 meant not playing hockey at university for the whole of the season after Christmas.

  3. The photos are great. The light in the first and last is a light I remember. Different weathers come with different lights, and snow’s is unmistakable. You’re certainly cute in your little snowsuit — I have a couple that are similar. We did have fun, didn’t we?

  4. A good, if rather chilly, post and pictures. It’s nice to see one of Spud, who I trust has fully recovered. I vaguely remember the winter of 1963. Good to read that you’ve now got a nice, snug home. xx

    • Spud is enjoying being allowed off the lead again. His elbow has healed well, but his hip is causing him some discomfort 😦

      • I’m very pleased to hear of the healing. Will he make a full recovery?

        Doug’s enjoying the snow but collects ‘snow cling-ons’ on his trousers.

        On a Facebook spaniel group it was recommended to rub olive oil on their fur to prevent this but I applied horse mane untangle spray and that did the trick.

        One of my siblings was born in 1963 and my father picked up the midwife in a 4×4 he borrowed from work to get her to my mother at home – but couldn’t get through the snow to to take her home after the delivery so she stayed with us overnight.

        I was also discussing with Doug’s mum how winters were always snowier and summers were always sunnier when we were small.

  5. i’m very glad i insulated our front door – the people before us moved out because the rain used to flood under it into the living room and it never worked as a door as you had to kick it really hard from the outside to get it to open. so i sealed it up and insulated it behind tongue and groove. we use the back door now and the living room is useable in the winter!

  6. Pingback: Seasonal Variations | Uphilldowndale

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