A Chilly Welcome

IMG_0382 The welcome mat outside my door was frozen this morning, along with the drinking water supply (despite insulation added to the tap just after Christmas). The sun’s warmth soon began a general thaw, but my mood turned chilly again when I discovered most of the clothing in my dry locker had become a thriving home to green and black mould.

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Interregnum

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The sovereignty of the stormy weather released its grip yesterday for a few hours of sunshine when I was free to inspect my watery bounds after a winter lashing which began on December 23rd. Winds and spring tides have returned today across the whole of southern England and beyond. The Outer Bank camera was knocked out when the sea really rose (on a high spring tide) to the challenge of breaching its water resistant casing. I hope the SanDisc SDHC* will still hold on to its memories after being dried out.

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It has been an eventful time at the Egg since my last post. Solar power failed again and then when my batteries were finally recharged on a meagre diet of rare solar particles, storms knocked out electricity to the entire neighbourhood from about 11.30pm on December 23 until 8pm on Boxing Day, curtailing most activity and the reporting of it. Outdoor actions planned for New Years Day (the burning of a large blackthorn Egg) were also postponed by hail and a parallel failure of WIFI which lasted 48 hours. Backdated recollections and musings will be posted over the next few days. Happy New Year to everyone from the riverside at Exbury.

*SanDisk say they designed the card to be very resilient and durable. It is shock proof, X-Ray proof, temperature proof, magnet proof, vibration proof and reassuringly I have read – waterproof.

Flood Warning

High water is due to top the predicted 3.9m tonight, due to the continuing southwesterly gales and the Environment Agency has issued a flood alert and indicative map. The inundation would be directly across the river as well as east toward Lepe, rather than across the somewhat higher marsh around my own protected nook.

Environment Agency Flood Alert map issued on January 2nd at 17.03

Environment Agency flood alert map, issued on January 2nd at 17.03

Hail Christmas

A salute of hailstones welcomed the dawn of Christmas Day just after 8am. I was surprised by the unusual swishing noise from sheets of hail hitting water, as a wintry squall sped toward me across the river from a soaking Beaulieu. I took shelter in time to record the reverberations as they struck the Egg’s shell.

Moon River

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My exposed arm and nose felt like ice and the stainless steel of the heater pinged and pinked as its steel case cooled. A curlew called from somewhere stage left.  The stove had stayed alight for eight hours, but now at three in the morning the Egg was getting cold. Grey light from the full moon streamed through the main skylight and I took its picture through a growing river of condensation. A triple spatter of droplets fell onto the plastic bag protecting my drawings as I crawled back under the covers.

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Living Beside Water

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My neighbours Nick and Caroline live in the house at the top of the field and between their home and mine, curved lines of earthworks follow the contours of a hill down to the river and reveal the remains of an iron age refuge.

In Nick’s kitchen a topographical study made in the early nineteenth century depicts house boats beside a creek. The curved bender roofs of the two hulls reminded me instantly of my own situation here in Exbury. Living beside water has long had many attractions.

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Live Mice

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Small Mammal Allurement Centre No.1 was located in long grass beside the footpath in Blackberry Way last night, where two wood mice were enticed in by dried fruit and a small bowl of water. They were released very early this morning after a short photo session.

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