we are back to the usual irish winter weather - cold, but not frosty, windy and wet.... after sunset yesterday everything was still white - and this morning there were only bits and pieces left. which is great, because we can get back to normal again. or so we thought! not quite though: the cold water in the kitchen is back - but the frost crept through the pipes into our water pump, which cracked - so that we cannot pump water up to the tank, where it is needed:(( major repairs, hundreds of euro worth in damages - and we can't do it immediately, because the shop that sells pumps won't open again until mid january:(( we might be able to order the pump by mail order, but even so it will be at least 2 weeks before we're back to normal waterwise..... probably right at the time,when we get another frosty spell:(( the good thing is that the big tank is defrosted and I don't have to carry the water buckets all around the house. just two steps out the back will give me full buckets.
today we spent time with some cleaning up as well. the hungry birds are mostly gone - we're still feeding, but even though the seeds and nuts are still there - the birds seem to be keen to find their nourishment elsewhere. which is good, because they're not supposed to rely totally on our feeding! I miss the flurry of them in front of the window a bit - but I am aware that it isn't ideal for them as they don't like to be that close to each other! look at the mess they left behind:
it's mostly seed husks, but also spilled seeds and nuts... we brushed it to one side so that they can collect the edible seeds from the heap, but at least the area doesn't look like a warzone anymore:)))
I am not sure that most of our plants were that lucky. last year the camellias along the south wall of the house did well despite the frost. but this years' second cold spell was far colder - and to me this camellia doesn't look too happy right now! I hope it'll recover, but judging from the leaves it might have serious frost damage. the same for a lot of the garden plants, though the lower ones were covered in snow, which might have helped in sheltering them from the worst. another waiting game - we'll see in late spring which ones survived and how many are gone for good....
last night I also finished my advent KAL scarf, but I have to block it before I can show it - right now it's just a white scrunchy heap of stitches:)) I still have some yarn left from it, about 80 g of cashmere/silk, which I am doubling up and knitting into a simple small moebius neck warmer. I am barely withouth my other one these days - it's soft and warm, but not overly so in our relatively cold cottage. I also started a small embroidery project - a baby gift, which I have been looking forward to doing for some time now!