Back at home last night after pulling a late shift at work Bill and I were trying to snuggle up and watch Grosse Point Blank on an interference ridden scratchy tv screen, chugging back beers (well, that was me, Bill doesn’t chug), attempting to ignore the dog, who was standing guard over the heating grate again being generally dippy, and tuning out the howl of the wind outside when *zunk* out went the power plunging us into darkness. The tv abruptly died in a sizzle of John Cusack and Minnie Driver and all should have been silence. A voice could however be heard talking for seconds after we should have had quiet, this was rather freaky; until reason told us that it was the answer phone’s last slurred reset message before it passed on.
Hmmm. We sat in the darkness until it was clear that this was to be an extended state of affairs and that we could really do with finding the torch and some candles. Of course, candles had been moved from their convenient emergency location in the useful things drawer to make way for nice shiny wedding present kitchen implements. Drat. Some hard thinking and fumbling later two fat orange halloween pumpkin candles were retrieved from Quince’s dog biscuit tin, of course. Still, at least whoever put them there was good enough to stow the matches in the same place.
Soon we were lit by the soft glow of flickering candlelight and worriedly looking out the window at the creaking trees, swirling newspapers and roaming rubbish bins wondering, hoping, that Ginger Dog (who I forgot to mention we hadn’t seen since Christmas, but has been gracing our front yard again this week) was somewhere nice and warm and that maybe the neighbours had pulled him in from the street to keep him safe. Bill and I buckled and did do a quick scout of the road just in case he was out in the storm but could find no hair or tail of his gingeness, hope that’s a good sign.
Bill also decided that he ought to move the truck from beneath the trees as branches were falling very frequently last night and we’ve had some huge branches fall down onto the drive before, luckily while Bill and his vehicle have been out and about. I came outside, huddled in my my nice big Manchester coat that everyone laughs at because I couldn’t possibly need such a coat in Georgia, and watched as he backed the truck out to the road, parked up on the front yard, reversed a bit, pulled forward a bit, backed back out on to the road, and finally parked back where he had started, albeit facing the opposite direction! Everywhere is a falling debris hazard! Trees, telegraph poles, swinging cables and wires blanket the house. Sod’s law says that it really didn’t matter where the truck was parked, if a branch was going to fall, on the truck it would plummet. *fingers crossed that doesn’t happen*
Back in the house we closed all the doors, and drew the blinds in an attempt to keep the heat in and snuggled back up together on the couch, watching the flames and listening to the harsh weather outside. Quince kept on watching the heating grate and pacing around. Half planned to stay in the front room but eventually decided to brave the chill of the bedroom and crawl beneath the icy covers.
Woke up this morning to a frosty bedroom, Quince whining, and Bill leaping out of bed screaming “Shit! There’s a cat in the house!” and then “…omigod it’s cold!” as his feet hit the floor. He’d been awoken by a yowling inside the cottage. On investigation and a rethink of Quince’s recent behaviour, it seems we may well have an animal stuck in our heating ducts below the floor. Quincy mystery solved. Though, we have no idea what to do about this. Not sure what sort of an animal it is either, though a cat does seem to be the best bet judging from the sounds Bill heard, and we are fervently praying that it doesn’t turn out to be a possum or squirrels. Ugh AND this also solves the mystery of why we kept thinking we could smell whisps of cat pee and thought we were just imagining it (I declined to mention this before for reasons of taste and decency) AND probably means that the lettuce I found by the door of the crawl space was not in all likelihood planted there by Quincy! Oh dear, we’ve got problems.
The power was still off, an icy Bill climbed back into bed and from there it took us a while to extracate ourselves and get up due to savouring the warmth within its boundaries, the heat made especially luxurious in contrast to the temperature millimetres above the covers. Oh, and when we did make it into our stiff crispy jeans and peeked outside we were greeted, not by the high winds and driving rain I was expecting, but by a fresh white tinted world. Ooooh snow! Not quite a polar vision, rather slushy and icy and quickly meltly into streams of water, but snow nonetheless.
Considering the alarm clocks were out, and the length of time we had to spend bracing ourselves to run to the bathroom, it’s amazing that we made it to Bill’s work dead on time this morning. Which is where I am now, being oh so productive as usual.