Monday, 15 August 2011

The Bigger Chill

Last month’s snow-fall was a once in a lifetime occurrence.
Until, three weeks later, it
really snowed.

By 5.30pm on Sunday, the container had become Ice Station Zebra.

What a year to pick to spend winter in a shipping container! No-one can say that we weren’t given plenty of warning about this polar blast – so much, in fact, that we were beginning to wonder if the Met service had some purpose in scare-mongering. Surely the storm couldn’t be as perfect as they were promising?

Sunday passed as enjoyably as usual, with Dean continuing work on the house framing and Rose and I gathering up firewood and fallen branches. The day was grey, but surprisingly mild at times. We went in at around 5.00pm, poured a glass of wine and relaxed. Half an hour later our home became an Antarctic base, with huge flakes of snow building up on the window ledges, coating the cat ramp and completely burying our gumboots.

Concerned neighbours even kindly offered us their sleep out to spend the night in, which is quite overwhelming generosity. The thing is though, the container is actually incredibly cosy with the heating on, possibly warmer than an average house. We were very happily snuggled up, watching the snow flakes drift past our windows – until some poor person had to use the portaloo, of course!

The huddled black shape at the base of the tree is Juno, rediscovering
her roots as a Norwegian forest cat.

Dawn at the Wairarapa’s own McMurdo base.  Rose takes a bowl of warm
porridge to the chickens (!)

A herb popsicle, anyone?

The only patch of grass left uncovered for miles.

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