Friday, December 21, 2007

'twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring not even a mouse,
because Badger's cat Frank had enjoyed them for his tea,
which is what Ms M and her boy are teaching Badger and Stray to call dinner ...


Contrary to reports, it's not even slightly grim up north.

The move went ... well, actually the whole boxes bit was fine.  BT of course pissed us about for week after week before finally admitting that they can't actually provide broadband in our village because we share 5 phone lines between 20 houses.  

We were offline for a little while, and I held in mind the wonderful words of Douglas Adams:
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

We are now on broadband thanks to a huge satellite dish in our back garden (please phone to make a booking if you would like to borrow it for your alien landing).

The village is gorgeous.  The weather ranges from swirling mist to inch-thick ice crunching under boot beneath bright blue skies.  We have a river and waterfalls which are fed almost entirely by rain running off the hills.  After 3 wet days the ford disappears, and after 3 dry days you can cross at almost any point.  We haven't had a full thaw for a fortnight, and as the water level dropped away huge sheets of ice split and tipped, now pointing skywards. Proper ice sculptures.

The drive to the supermarket is 12 miles on a 'road' that only got promoted from the status of farm-track fairly recently.  Older maps still show a dead end at the next village.  I have forgotten what traffic is but now allow extra time for stubborn livestock in the middle of the road or a flock of sheep being moved from field to field.  It takes 40 minutes round-trip to get a pint of milk, but I've yet to feel anything except really really really bloody lucky - people drive for miles to see this view of Pen-y-ghent:

I can't wait for people to visit me.  I think Badger, Ms M and I may have lucked upon the most beautiful place in the world.  Our neighbours have been really welcoming and I really do feel as though this is where I am meant to be, in all 4 dimensions.

To all who I owe emails, cards, phone calls, blog comments etc - please forgive me, I have been in a whirlwind of unpacking and DIY and catching up on work for neglected clients.  My Orange phone has no reception at all in this valley so I'm currently moving to Vodafone.  BT managed to cut off my main email address for a while because they'd moved it to the broadband service that they couldn't provide ... so if you've sent mail and not received a reply please do send again!

Hoping you're all as happy as I am this christmas ...