I hope all’s well over there. We are having the most terrible weather over here, torrential rain, sleet, hail, snow flurries and gale force winds. One of the grandsons came over to see if Edith and I were alright last night. He’s a sweet boy and very intelligent, but for someone with a university degree he has remarkably little common sense.
He is complacent in the extreme Tess, so much so that I sometimes think that if his head was full of dynamite he wouldn’t have enough to blow his hat off!
Edith and I have the storm lamps filled and sitting on the kitchen counter ready for use. Each of us has a small torch in our pocket…well actually mine is in the crochet bag one of the girls at school made me to hang on my walking frame. We have moved enough wood that we won’t have to scramble about in the dark to keep the wood burner alight and Edith has made extra soup that we could reheat on top of the burner if the power goes off. We have candles at the ready and a couple of large print books on the table. There’s no point struggling to read regular small print by candlelight. We have a couple of extra throws to wrap up in if the temperature drops and Edith has charged her mobile phone and I have a full iPad battery, ideal for sending messages if we need to.
Along comes David and laughs his socks off at our preparations.
“For goodness sakes, what are you like? Nothing’s going to happen, it never does. Every time there’s a storm you two get ready for indoor camping…madness”
Edith made him a cup of tea and gave him a slice of carrot cake that she’d made this morning before asking him to bring in some more logs to stock up the small cupboard we keep them in so there are always some totally dry ones available. He fetched a goodly pile in from the woodshed, but he was still nodding his head and chuckling when he set off for home.
Whilst he was drinking his tea I asked him what supplies he had in the car, just in case he got stuck. He does just over sixty miles a day to and from work, and has to cross a section of Dartmoor. Now Dartmoor is a beautiful place, on a sunny day with lots of people around. At night, in winter, well that’s a different matter. It’s so dark up there you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face, and cold, so cold. There are few trees, just bracken and heather, the wind howls across the moors unchecked, it’s a very hostile place.
It turns out David keeps nothing in his car that would help him out in an emergency. No blankets, no food or water, other than the stupidly expensive coffee he picks up on his way through the last town before reaching the moors. Not even a shovel. Stupid boy. Apparently his top of the range car, a big Land Rover thing is reliable in all weathers, four wheel drive whatever that is.
Well you can guess what happened can’t you? All four wheels were fine, but something in the engine went pop and all the water came out of the radiator and apparently you need that water to make the car work. So, David is sitting there, on the moors shivering so hard his teeth are chattering and just a slice of carrot cake inside him to keep him going. The battery in his phone died soon after the car stopped and luckily for him just after he’d called a garage. The mechanic took over four hours to turn up.
Oh, you should have heard him, he was so cold, he was so hungry and all that. I told him he was so lucky that it wasn’t a real emergency. What if he had gone off the road in deep snow? What if he had had to stay there all night? In really bad weather, when the moors are freezing, his complacency could have been the death of him. Last night the weather was awful, but it was still well above freezing.
I think he has learned something from the experience. Heather, his wife tells me he has packed a small bag with some biscuits and a thermos he can fill with coffee or tea before he leaves work. There is also a blanket, a warm jacket and a shovel, he also intends to charge his phone before he leaves work from now on.
Lesson learned I think, and not before time. Well, it’s gone 7 p.m. here so I’m going to go and catch up on the news and finish off the front of a beautiful little sweater I am making…I am going to be a great grandmother again in the spring, I can hardly wait.