Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter tightens its grip

We've been having a lot of weather, which is great, but for once the weather isn't the lead story on this particular news bulletin.  More important than that (even more important than that) is the news that Camelot came through his gelding operation (which turned out to be reasonably straightforward as, once he was under the anaesthetic, his state of relaxation meant that the hidden ball dropped a bit, which made things much easier for the vet) yesterday very well - so well that he came straight home in the evening and wolfed down his tea, and has been completely normal (normal for him, that is) ever since.  He can even walk on water now, as you can see, so that's great.

They love him in the vet's as if were their own as he was raised there, and when I rang mid-afternoon yesterday to ask how things were going and when he would be ready for collection, I was half-expecting to be told that I would be able to collect him in a couple of weeks.  As it was, though, they said that he was fine and could come home any time.  So that's grand.  And the dogs are coping with this proper winter weather too.  Bean is the worst in cold weather, but she's fine now that she's turned into a Dalmatian.  The greyhounds have their Witney blanket rugs but Gus has not had one, so Iva made him a really warm rug in Dalmatian colours - only he didn't like it, so now Bean is as snug as a bug in a rug in it, and she and Gus have seemingly become brother and sister.  And I don't know why Gus was wearing his ears inside-out on a subzero day.  Silly man.

Last night, by the way, it was minus seven.  I think it's got up to about minus two this afternoon, but tonight it's supposed to go down to minus ten, and I think that tomorrow is going to be colder than today.  But that's fine.  It certainly beats the alternative, ie constant rain, and cold temperatures with no wind are much more bearable than temperatures a few degrees warmer but with a wind - or, more likely, with a wind and rain too.  So, although we come in from exercise looking as if we've just trudged across the Tundra, it's really rather pleasant.  This picture in this chapter was after first lot, but I was still almost as frost-bound after third lot; ditto the horses, with Simayill, whom I had ridden first lot, having a particularly fine beard in the next paragraph.

It's been rather strange to watch jumps racing on the TV the last couple of afternoons (Lingfield and Ffos Las yesterday and Newbury today) as we've been aeons away from being able to race in this part of the country, so it's quite a shock to realise that it is not the whole of Great Britain which is snow- and ice-bound.  However, I'd imagine that by now it probably is the whole of the country, so presumably we won't be seeing any more jumps racing for a while, which is a shame, but inevitable.  Still, we've got the AW to 'keep the show on the road', and we should be doing our bit to help on Friday by running Magic Ice (who would, I suppose, be a topical tip) in a maiden race at Lingfield.  If she doesn't run well, we certainly won't be able to blame conditions at HQ as, icy and snowy though it is, we can exercise completely uninterruptedly, which is a real luxury in such inclement times.

I gather that we are forecast a fair bit more snow towards the end of the week, which is understandable as we haven't got the high pressure which one often associates with very low temperatures: the sky has been anything but clear with freezing fog having been the order of the past couple of days.  The sun did try to break through around 9.30 this morning, as you can see in this view across the Severals, but by 10.30 it had given up the unequal struggle.

By the time that I took Gift Of Silence up Long Hill sometime before 11.00 the freezing fog had reasserted itself, as you can tell by the fact that it's hard to discern where the ground ends and the sky begins.  We've had some more snow fall this afternoon and it's very cold, but really it's far from unpleasant.  It could be slippery in places in the morning as the fog and the fresh snow have moistened everything, and of course everything will turn to solid ice overnight, but we'll worry about that when the time comes - and we'll just enjoy these proper winter conditions, which the children inside us all really should relish.


samihob said...

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John Berry said...

Thank you. I'll have a look at that.