This weekend we discovered why the majority of people round these parts drive a 4x4 of some description. Husband arrived home late Thursday night from London. On Friday morning we awoke to snow but managed to get the car out and we drove to our nearest town, where I work. I went to the office, he stocked up on food for the weekend - as well as the wherewithal to make our Christmas presents (which included an entire box of 50 lemons). He came back and collected me at the end of the day. Although snow was lying on the ground in our village we are relatively high up. To be honest, I assumed that was the end of the snow.
Saturday morning we awoke to a further 2-3 inches, freezing winds but gorgeous blue skies. We spent the morning making the first half of our Christmas presents (post to follow) and then after lunch set out for a walk. We were planning on attending a black tie ball in the nearest town that evening; it wasn't until we realised how icy the road was at 4pm that it dawned on us that driving just wasn't going to be an option in our car. The road we have to use to get to the main road is bordered by a river in parts: one false move/slide doesn't bear thinking about.
Given that no taxis would come out and no buses had come through, we telephoned our friends. Who, amazingly, came to the rescue. Which saw us, rather comically, dressed in black tie (me in a knee length cocktail dress) accessorized with thick socks, wellies, enormous tweed coat and hats/gloves sliding down to the main road to be met by a 4x4 which got us safely to the ball and back.
Sunday morning brought further snow and we were again marooned at home, spending the day making more Christmas presents. Monday, however, we awoke to 3-4 more inches of snow and what appeared to be a blizzard. We trudged/slide down to the main road, this time wearing snowboarding trousers along with my tweed and wellies, to try and get the bus to get to work. No chance. The road hadn't been gritted and not even a snow plough had been through. Still, we waited 30 minutes just in case and then abandoned the wait. No buses. No taxis. Working from home it was.
This morning the bus still didn't turn up, despite the main road being a bit clearer. I ended up getting a taxi - it was such a beautiful drive in through snow covered fields and silhouetted trees. Sadly the cloud cover was far too thick to see any of the lunar eclipse. Luckily, the buses were running for my return journey; another pleasant drive through Exmoor. The sheep actually had their heads entirely covered by snow as they attempted to find something to eat and the whole countryside is so muffled and silent that the bird song travels in a very eery fashion. I think Exmoor is made for this kind of weather: it looks so stunning and magical blanketed in thick snow. Almost as if we live in a film set.