In the midst of all this building work, we’ve been snowed in. Not once, but twice. I always knew that despite it not having snowed since 2009, the winter we lived in the yurt would bring snow. However, even in my Brownie Guide ‘be prepared’ state last Autumn, I didn’t imagine we’d be snowed in twice. And at the bottom of our little valley it doesn’t take a lot of snow for it to be impossible to get up the hill on either side. We had a good few inches, which by Cornish standards is pretty rare.
The first snowfall trapped us for a couple of days. We took the kids up the hill with the sledge and just about got some sledging action….the snow had blown around so much it was hard to find a consistent depth on the side of a windswept hill. On day three of being snowed in, Gigman had to get out of the valley, a gig was calling. We found the snowchains and got him up the hill and on his way.
The easterly gales were less fun. The yurt does shift a bit when the wind gusts, and the flue moves with it even though it is securely attached to a tall pole outside.
The east wind blows straight in the door. Powdery snow was finding its was inside through all the little gaps so I rummaged in the barn (which contains all the things we didn’t know what to do with and couldn’t fit anywhere else) and found a huge old velvet curtain that we’ve had since we moved out of a dodgy student rental with it in 1992. It’s been our front door curtain for years in the house here and the house before. What a stroke of luck it was handy as it blocked the draft really well in the yurt too!
We learned that when a snowdrift blocks the westerly side of the yurt (see the spade picture above), the wind can’t blow through underneath the base properly and instead, rather excitingly, lifts the carpet up, flying carpet style! I like to think this must be because of all the excellent underfloor insulation we laid underneath the carpet, otherwise the wind would have just blown straight through the carpet and we’d have frozen. Instead we tried not to be too alarmed at the undulating floor and creaking flue and opened a bottle of single malt we’ve hung onto for 15 years.
The second snowfall was shorter lived, but I drove over Dartmoor through the start of it. It was like being in warp drive on the Enterprise. The snowflakes whooshed past me in streaks and tricked me into thinking I was staying in the slow lane. In fact somehow was veering onto the hard shoulder but as I was driving as slow as I dared (40mph) and it was so late it was a relatively uneventful journey.
The next day snowed heavily and horizontally and we were snowed in for a good part of Monday until it got so crazy in the yurt with three bouncy kids I decided we’d give it a go and get out of the valley and take the kids to school. School was open, being in a town 10 miles away which had seen absolutely no snow. Real mini-microclimates down here.
We’re hoping we’ve seen the last of winter now. Daffodils and primroses are out in full force and fingers crossed, spring is finally fighting her way through.