Three friends took great pleasure in ringing me yesterday to tell me that the local paper has headlined the fact that PANTHER TRACKS were seen in the snow just 1/4 a mile away from my house.... Oh joy. Not only do I have snow to deal with and icicles taller than me that plunge off the house at intermittent points, but now there is supposedly a 'third generation big cat' roaming the woods around my house. Could life become trickier? Will the chewed bones of the loyal hound and I be discovered in the spring?
Luckily I got online and read the article where in very small print at the end of it Chester Zoo suggested that rather than a panther, the tracks could be that of an otter. Normally this would comfort me but having seen where the tracks where I'm not convinced that anything other than a cat could have walked there. The tracks were on the top of the fall side of the dam which is some 80 feet high and a gradient that makes me feel sick looking over it. I guess they must be otters who don't suffer from vertigo.... Please let them be otters.
So, now I am walking out and about in my strimmer glasses and wielding the carving knife in case of a surprise otter / panther attack. It makes going outside more interesting I suppose.
I made a break for freedom yesterday. The Loyal Hound and I walked the half mile or so through the snow and were picked up by a friend with a 4 x 4 and we went to the nearest town. The excitement. The bright lights, the people! It was almost too much for me. We went to the supermarket and I chose all my shopping on a weight basis as I would have to carry it back. So, I now have mushrooms, spinach and maltesers to see me through the next couple of days and to give some variety to the diet of porridge. Exciting n'est pas?
My neighbour fought his way back home yesterday as well. He had been out the day of the blizzard and hadn't managed to make it back until now. We walked through the woods together. Me laden with groceries and him towing a gas bottle and a sack of pony food for the horses. He then very kindly shovelled a path through the snow to my gate which I had not got round to yet (I was going with the wading through the stuff idea). There is so much snow I can't actually open the gate but now I do have a path to it so it is all progress. I have dug myself a path around the house and to the woodshed so it feels positively civilized here now as I can go out in just boots if I stick to the paths. It's all progress.
My next task is to come up with some kind of a plan for the weekend. I am supposed to be going away to stay with friends and feel it would be rather wimpish to cancel because of the snow. But, I am not keen on the idea of lugging a suitcase off the hill. I wonder if I should try a 'wear all my clothes at once' number and walk them off, then hope that I can get my car started once I get to it. If I leave in the daylight this shouldn't be too bad. I mean I'll look madder than usual wearing my party clothes with my rubber trousers but that can't be helped. It's either that or I spend the next few hours making a rucksack out of curtains and coal sacks. Suggestions on a postcard please...
The price of health
1 day ago