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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Dell

The Frozen North ....

It's been cold; it's to be expected; it is Winter.

But it's been frigid, the coldest for 10 years, so we are told. And it feels like it as well.

The last few days have been interesting.

First, we developed a drip from one of the pipes running off the log burner. The drip turned into a constant drip, which started to become more of a dribble by the end the week. Andrew then looked at the leak, and it became a flow !!!

Harold to the rescue, value changed and drip stopped.

Next, on checking the cows, it became apparent that the water pipe to the self-filling trough was frozen. A temporary water pipe was rigged up, but this meant the trough needed to be manually checked and filled as necessary. 'Oh, if you need any help.....' I said !!!

Ten minutes later, Harold offered to show me how to fill the trough - it will need doing a good few times a day......

No problem, set the alarm so as not to forget and life carried on as usual.

Until Saturday Morning - my turn to roll out of bed and let the dogs out for their morning wee...

So wrapped in PJ's and dressing gown with wellies, hat and coat, the dogs were sorted. Next job, kettle on - No water. Initial thought, oh !!!.. enough in the kettle to make a brew, carry on regardless, worry about that later and on to empty the ash pan and sort the fire.

Now the ash pan was full, and I know that once I opened the front door, the vicious gale force wind was going to whip it up all over the place and cause serious blowback into my face and the cabin. So, one hand holding ash pan, other hand dealing with the door, we attempted the dash - but I left my finger in the door as I slammed it shut - retrieve finger, empty ash pan, back in the cabin .... SCREAM, WAIL, MOAN, CUSS, ANDRRRRREEEEWWWWWWW - I'm gonna FAINT. I wasn't joking - Andrew, however, thought I was, and laughed. He stood and laughed, loudly and a lot, by which time I'm on the outside step with my head between my pj'd knees, holding onto my stomach and breathing in Siberian air causing frostbite to my lungs.

Staggering back inside waving my finger in the air and blood running down my hand pooling around my feet (ok, maybe it was just a drop but it felt like a pool) ... I was trying to explain that I had removed the top inch of my finger - well that's what it felt like. The fear of either heaving or fainting had so far prevented me from inspecting any further.

No water to run my finger under, Andrew administered first aid, sticking a plaster on and asking if

that was ok. NOT OK, NOT OK at all, OMG the pain, the throbbing, the pain ... In hindsight, the throbbing was coming from the now black fingernail on the other side of my finger. The slice wasn't nearly as painful as the nail - but strap it up and shut up seemed to be the motto.

Well I managed it through the day and last night, and my finger is still attached and now seems to be able to function in a nearly usual fashion.

The water is still frozen, and the cows are still thirsty life goes on ... this is most definitely not a Dude Ranch !!!! and if I hear mention of a BATH once more, I may take a long cold walk, unless...

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