We were inundated with the white stuff this month: the Met Office reported it was an unusually heavy and early cold spell that brought much of the UK to a halt for the month. Our building efforts pretty much came to a halt too, as it was impossible to do any concrete work outside as overnight temperatures were down to -10 degrees a number of times. The deep snow hung about throughout the month so the link glazing bars and concertina doors' draught excluders were also out of the question.



The nation's transport networks ground to a halt under the snow, and our local roads suffered for a few days. We managed to get out still, but the Focus proved itself fairly useless in the weather. After ten years of hard graft for us it was time to send it to the automotive recycling bin and replace it with something more suitable for our weather, a diesel Freelander. Sarah was quite pleased with Santa's delivery.





It's Christmas time again, and as another year disappeared we returned to the regular tree-cutting farm to fell this year's festive symbol. It was lucky we got the tree in early as the big snowfall would have made it very difficult a few days later.


After a quiet Christmas Day under clear blue skies with crisp deep snow, we hosted a Boxing Day bonfire again with a group of hardy friends and a big bottle of white spirits to light the frozen firewood. We eventually managed a reasonable inferno and enjoyed a colourful sunset, then scurried inside to thaw ourselves out.


With a few days off between Christmas and New Year, we went shopping for new kitchen appliances ahead of the January VAT increase. We soon got bored of looking at fridges and freezers, but we did find the Britannia range cooker and hood we've had an eye on for some time. It won't be delivered for 6 weeks or so, but that's still well before we expect the rest of the kitchen to be ready. It should be quite an exciting few months in the new year.