I guess it all started when I casually read aloud to CCQC the weather forecast for the weekend from the newspaper and it said snow down to sealevel. Sealevel! Must be a mistake, we thought. But it was no mistake when we woke up on Monday morning to a white vineyard. Not only that, the power had gone off at 4am that morning, and when the power goes off, we have no electricity to power the pump, so no water, and no electricity to power the boiler, so no heating. Actually, we did have partial power as only some phasing had gone off, so we plugged in a heater, and I turned on the oven and opened the door. Very un-green of me, but needs must. It was freezing. But it was beautiful, and down came the snow all day long, covering everything in sight.
The bantams and the duck did not know what was going on. Pip stayed indoors, and refused to let Duck-Duck and Mikki inside. Mikki cowered behind the bantam house, but Duck-Duck, with his waterproofed feathers, seemed to cope okay.
Kete wasn’t going anywhere thankyou very much. A team of surgeons would have been required to remove that fat ginger cat from her straw bed, but Scaredy Kat loved the snow, racing around like crazy, digging holes, rolling around, catching finches. Too fast to take photos. She’s one tough feral pussy.
I wasn’t going anywhere much either.
Of course the horses came down to be fed, and they were all warm and snug under their Wairau covers, breathing steam like dragons.
By the time we coated ourselves up in ski gear and went out into the vineyard, at around 11.30am, there was a good 10 to 15cm coating of snow on the ground. And still it fell all day. And the next day.
The Rimutaka Hill Road was closed from Sunday night until Thursday so CCQC didn’t go to work (well, he worked from home). You can’t trust the trains, unfortunately, because TranzMetro are so useless, they refuse to put on extra carriages when the road’s closed. And the train broke down one evening, delaying everyone for three hours. (As an aside, I often take the 11am train to Wellington to cover question time in Parliament, and even if that train is crowded, as it often is with pensioners taking advantage of Winston Peters’ gold card, the officious guards won’t let you into the empty carriage but insist you crowd into one of the occupied carriages even if there are no seats, just because they can’t be bothered walking into another carriage to collect tickets.)
When the snow finally melted away, with the bitterly cold rain which managed to kill about 200 lambs on Te Muna’s farm next door, all was restored to normal, cold August winter. Well, I say normal. What’s normal? As I write this, exactly one week later, the sun is pouring through the open double doors, the animals are basking in the warmth, and it feels as if summer is just around the corner. Hard to believe that just seven days ago the temperature here was -4.9 degrees.