Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Saturday and Sunday

Life has a good sense of humour.

 A couple of weeks ago we took the car to the mechanic to repair a noisy wheel. Then the 4x4 stopped working. Got the 4x4 fixed but driving optimistically up a narrow vertical track the next day on the way to see some friends the 4x4 stops working half way up. Invented two new swear words.  Back to mechanic. Leave mechanic 90 euros heavier  a couple of days later with a fully functional 4x4, I tested it to be on the safe side. Yippee.
So on Saturday when it started to snow heavily we didn’t bother canceling our dinner date with friends because we had a fully functional 4x4 plus 4 snow tyres, plus relative shovels, bags of salt gloves, hand warmers etc. and a piddly 10 cm of snow had never been and was not going to be a problem, was it?
Truth be told after eating an, even for me, exessive quantity of tangerines I had a bit of a gurgling stomach but what the hell the company would be excellent as usual and the meal was fonduta so lots of dipping of tatties and onions and tomoatos and stuff in melted chesse and not to be missed; the stomach would settle. In fact soon the still gugrling but otherwise stable stomach was full to bursting and sometime after midnight we got the kids into their pyjamas, loaded them into the car and set off through snow back to the house.
Unfortunately... on the very first hill up from the level towards the house the 4x4 appears not to be working agian. Bollocks. And of course though a normal car might have got up, because the Kia is a rear wheel drive it would be almost impossible to drive up a mole hill in the snow. Naturally by this time it was snowing really heavily with about a foot of the horrible stuff already on the ground. Usually when it snows we leave the 2WD down in the village whcih is what we had done today so after a brief discussion I was disgorged into the snowy night in a light jacket and the most excellent green converse all stars recommended by alpine climbers worldwide and  a fortunately a pair of tehnical hiking trousers to hike back up to the house while wife and kids went to crash out at zibbia’s. I was to sleep at home and come down next day with the snow chains for the 4x4 which were up at the house, pick up the 2WD and take the chains to the 4x4. Lots of waving, bye bye, see you tomorrow... and oh my god, the squits. I must say I’ve had some eventful walks up to the house in the past but a 40 minute up hill climb with stomach crushing squits was a first. But when you have to, you have to, 4 times in 40 minutes. Sorry about the detail but it’s relevant to the successive and important loss of a trowel described later.
On path awaiting snow dump
Next day we had a whole bunch of the wife’s colleagues coming up for lunch so I had to be down before 8.30 to fit the four snow chains, load up kids and see if the car could get up the hill in order to warn the potentially incoming guests before they were actualy incoming.
As it turns out guests, wisely, cancelled but meantime after four hours sleep I was already plunging merrily down in the dark in 40 cm of snow to rejoin the sleeping family. Fortunately with four snow chains in teh rucksack plus a bunch of other stuff progress despite the snowshoes was slow. And I had to retrace my steps from the night before to remove piles of now frozen dookie which reverting to my ape ancestry I lobbed with joyous ahas! into the morning darkness. The final pile of dookie I couldn’t lob it as it would have gone in someboady’s garden so I hiked up the road to the woods and lobbed it there. I put the trowel down to put my rucksack back on, a tree shed it’s snow and I promptly lost the trowel. If anyone finds it, please keep it.
Had a nice breakfast in company at friends’ house and then got the chains on the car, loaded kids on board and set off for home yet again.
First part was OK, but as it got steeper traction was but a mere memory and we only got 3/4 the way up and that with chained wheels grating holes through the snow and into the tarmac and the whole car juddering violently. There were spectators and ‘twas rather embarassing engine at 3000+ but moving at a yard a minute. When finally and with difficulty we parked the car because the imbecile neighbour had parked right in the middle of the parking place, huge quantities of steam were coming out from under the bonnet. The walk up to the house was fun even if a little slow with the fresh snow up to robin’s waist.
Unfortunately someone stole the snow chains for the 2WD and being Sunday we couldn’t buy others but, we had the tractor. Unfortunately, the  tractor battery was dead and being Sunday we couldn’t get it charged. So made a snow person instead.

Tractor on Sunday morning

Snow person

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