Sunrise/sunset: 08:56/16:06 Daylength: 7hr09min
It’s almost November and winter has arrived. Last weekend’s rain turned into snow, which shouldn’t have surprised me, but it felt too sudden, having so recently returned from the UK. This weekend the clocks go back. Not that it will make a lot of difference to the daylight hours here. It’s only a month now until the polar night arrives. Though the temperature dropped to minus nine at the beginning of the week, it’s back up again now and hovering just above zero, so John has brought home the fencing kit: not a facemask and foil, but a huge mallet and a metal spike for making holes in the ground. He’s going to build a Triar fence, so that Triar can enjoy the garden without being on a lead the entire time. Obviously we’ll have to check it each morning to make sure a moose hasn’t walked right through it, but Triar loves zooming about (and burying his head in the snow) so it will be great for him. John made a start last night with lining up the posts, despite the fact that it was already getting dark when he got home.
In a rash moment last week, I signed up for NaNoWriMo. It’s an annual event where people who want to write a novel join a challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I’ve tried once before and didn’t make it, but I haven’t written anything but this blog for ages and it’s about time I got started again. So now I have only a couple of days to get the rest of my plotline sorted out for my next novel. That is slightly less daunting than it sounds as I had started planning it months ago and have several storylines ready to go. Now I just have to weave them together and make sure they all work together. 50,000 words is just over half the usual number of words I’d expect to write, so even if I haven’t got the plotline worked out right to the end, I can still make a start. More writing, less procrastinating!
Next week is officially the last of the season at the abattoir. This years’ lamb is already appearing in the shops. Farikål is a very popular meal here. It’s a stew made of lamb or mutton on the bone, with cabbage and peppercorns. I confess I’m not a fan. The meat tends to be very bony and though it’s cooked for a long time, until it’s falling off the bone, I generally prefer my lamb slow roasted, rather than cooked in a casserole. Of course, it may be that I just haven’t found the right recipe yet. When it comes to food, I’m always open to persuasion!
Once the season is over at work, Thomas and I are going to have to work very hard to catch up with all the work that has been building up out in the field. There are routine visits we have to complete each year, including visiting set percentages of sheep and cattle farms to check the animals are properly eartagged and to educate about scrapie (a neurological disease in sheep that is similar in nature to BSE in cattle) and also some blood testing to do. All that is on top of responding to messages from the public about potential cruelty cases. Though we often have to slow down for the season, this year both Thomas and I have been at the abattoir daily, because two members of the regular staff have been on sick leave throughout. Our job can certainly be challenging.
Here are a few pictures I took when driving to and from work this week. A dusting of snow lightens the world, even on the darkest winter days.