Weekly Chat (Non-Osprey), 3 December 2023


The Great Lakes has experienced glorious Auroras (Northern Lights) this past week. The photos have been breathtaking. Nothing to report from my patch, though, except dense fog in the mornings, icy rain during the days, and snow showers at night. I have no wildlife stories to report this week, because I haven't been outdoors at all.

I have some critically important paperwork to complete by Thursday. After that, I've solemnly vowed to resume being a regular poster on this site for the winter. Sorry I've neglected everyone. This year has been rough. I'll be glad to see 2023 in the rear view mirror. :-)

Hugs to everyone! Strength to Heather and AQ.

  • Diane: Thank you. I've been buried under Medigap policy options (UK folks, it's open enrollment for medical insurance plans that supplement our federally provided Medicare coverage, but deadline is December 6) I dragged my folding 'project' table from the garage and spread everything around on it. Just have to make some calls Monday morning to confirm some information.

    Consequently, I've been reading everyone's news but haven't had time to make a thoughtful response. Things should (!) get better this coming week. Take care everyone.
  • Thank you Diane for starting us off. So sorry you have had a rough year and I do hope next year is better. Good luck with the paperwork. You too Annette,
    I have lost the bright frosty weather here. It is dreich! Misty and damp. No frost and no snow. Just rather yuk. I have been out to feed the birds,
    Back to the Christmas cards now.
    Have a good week everyone.
  • Diane, thank you so much for finding the time to start us off again. I'm too, am sorry to hear that its been a rough year. (My spellchecker just put "a tough year" instead, but it's the same thing really). Best wishes to you in particular for a better 2024.

    We had a smattering of snow last evening & it then froze over so it was still looking the same this morning. Then it thawed just a little so the bushes have been dripping and there is water everywhere. It's been particularly bad north of here, in The Lake District, where they had to declare an Emergency situation last night and many had to abandon their cars. Let's hope they've thawed out a bit, too.

  • Rosie yesterday. She particularly likes chocolate cake, and as she has a good appetite and eats everything ever put in front of her, she got extra!!

  • I couldn't get on here this morning - it wouldn't even let me sign in!

    Yesterday we tried to make good time down the M6 and the M5, but there was a fair bit of traffic. We were in the 3rd lane of a 4 lane part of the highway, and I had just handed out the wine gums, when something happened suddenly. The car immediately in front of us suddenly & without warning, braked hard - I shrieked and braced myself (we were going at about 65 mph & so I had immediately computed that it would take quite a distance for us to come to a stop) My OH later said that he felt the same. He had braked hard and we were both hoping that no one was too close behind us - they weren't, thankfully. 

    Then the reason for the braking became apparent, as we could see a car tyre rolling across the carriageway. It then caused a car on our right to begin braking and there was a squeal of brakes. Our car braked even harder, as we have an automatic system which computes the speed and the distance to the car in front and it then brakes automatically! It saved us, really, as we were both convinced we would soon hear a crunch as we made contact. We all came to a stop and the rogue car tyre rolled into the fast lane and fell down flat. I had to remonstrate with my OH as he wanted to get out of the car and move the tyre to make the road safe, but I said NO WAY are you getting out, here, in the middle of a fast road!  Phew! We were both shaken up but thankfully unscathed.

    We never could find out where the tyre had come from.

  • Another very cold day here but beautiful. We walked at the uni and thought one of the swans was stuck in the ice. OH was in the middle of a call to the SSPCA when it got to its feet and walked away.
  • Oh Lindy that sounds really scary. Thank goodness you were both OK. I hate motorway driving.
    It has never got light today. It has been seriously damp and gloomy. I have written some more Christmas cards so that is good.
  • Lindy - That sounds really scary. Pleased to hear your OH reacted so quickly and safely. These things happen so fast, especially when you're on a motorway and doing a reasonable speed. I'm sure you were both very shaken, but unhurt - thank goodness. Awful. I'm sure you were grateful for extra hugs from the grand-children when you arrived.

    It's been grey and wet here all day, but much milder. Up to the dizzy heights of about 8 degrees earlier. And a new yellow weather warning for heavy rain from now until 6.00pm tomorrow. Aarrgghh!!! Haven't we had enough?!?!?

    I went to a lovely Christmas Tree Festival earlier. More than fifty Christmas trees, beautifully decorated by local groups with some amazing and inventive themes. And extra Christmas Trees forming a forest between the church and the cafe at the back - where we found lots of delicious home-made cakes! It was a lovely event, and a great way to start the festive season. Well justified in starting now, as it's December! Many of the trees had really inventive 'themes' - my favourite was 'Trigonometree', with 'Knitivitree' a close second. Even the local bowls club was there - with a tree called 'Roll on the Summer'. Some people are so clever ... Already looking forward to next year!
  • So, Sunday is here again!!! No rain, sleet or snow today – amazing when you see what it was like in Cumbria. But no sunshine either, although it seems marginally warmer today. I didn’t go to church as I was feeling unwell, although I have only sneezed three times so far today! OH went – there was meeting after the service so he thought he should be there; I slept most of the morning with my head in a magazine.

    DIANE – thanks once again for our new start. I hope sincerely that 2024 will be a much better year for you. Good luck finishing that paperwork this week.

    RUSTY – same here – weather very unpleasant (“oorlich”?) after the recent brightness.

    LINDA – surprised to see that you drove down to family gathering again so soon – but of course it was Tomasz’s birthday (same day as our elder grandson (now 35 I think)). That was a nasty incident on the motorway – glad nobody was hurt.

    DIBNLIB – glad the Swan was alright!

    PAT – Christmas Tree festival sounds really good – there is one coming up in Dumfries soon – may go, depending on weather. We had one at our church just a few years ago, but decided it should not be repeated too often.