Our first snow day in the campervan

snow day
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Amazingly for the South West of England, we have now had two snow days. The first was when the Beast from the East hit. And like most people in this part of England, we didn’t really expect the snow to lay. It doesn’t usually stay long enough to even make a snowman let alone block the roads for days and give us a proper snow day. 

We’d been watching the weather reports. Were aware that the Beast was due to blow in and give us a snow day. We’re parked up in the part of Cornwall where we brought our children up. In the fifteen years that we’d lived in the area, we’d only had deep snow once before. We didn’t, therefore, expect to be snowed in, even for one day.

Consequently, I made a few rookie mistakes.

 

snow day
Redwing & Starling

The biggest being that as the weather was getting colder I didn’t consider that the wastewater tank would freeze. It lives in the small garage under the van, so in my mind, it was inside. I forgot that this area of the van wasn’t insulated. Luckily, I had emptied the tank the evening before the big freeze. Unfortunately, because I hadn’t left the tap open, we then couldn’t use the sinks for four days while we waited for it to defrost. Nik was aware that the tap would need to be left open. Because he was working it didn’t occur to him that I wouldn’t think about it.

 

snow day
Snipe

The other mistake was not filling the fresh water tank the day before the snow was expected. There were several freshwater taps on our site and only the main tap sits in the shade. So even if they froze overnight I expected the sun to defrost at least one by afternoon. I didn’t consider that we might not get sun for a few days. Therefore, ended up having to get water from our site owners house. They didn’t mind but I didn’t want to keep disturbing them, so we had to be very careful with our water use for a few days.

My final mistake was to forget peoples penchant for panic buying at the smallest hint of snow. We weren’t in need of much before the snow hit, so I didn’t shop. By the time the snow had melted stocks were getting low. Unfortunately, people had panic bought before the snow arrived and lorries hadn’t been able to deliver since. No fresh fruit or vegetables for nearly a week. As 90% of our meals consist of vegetables this was a little inconvenient.

snow day, Oscar in the snow
Oscar thinks he’s a cow
Despite this, Nik and I still managed to make the most of our enforced snow day and have fun.

We were lucky that the site we were on has a small wood to walk the dogs in. So we dressed up warm and let the dogs loose in the snow. They love love love snow. Ella gets a bad case of the zoomies and has to run, run, run until she’s out of breath, little ears flapping and a big doggie smile on her face. Oscar prefers to snuffle his way through it, nose deep in the snow. Or lay in it. Both dogs ended up covered in the stuff and totally worn out. Result!

 

snow day
Frozen tree trunk, 

It had been so cold once the snow had laid that all tree trunks on the edge of the wood were covered with a thin layer of ice. Nik and I had never seen this before and were both fascinated with it. The way the moisture had frozen on the trees made bend cracks all the way down the trunks. Absolutely stunning. 

I, of course, couldn’t miss the opportunity to make a snowman. No snow day would be complete without one. Sadly, and I never thought I’d hear myself saying this, the snow was too dry. I know, it sounds odd but I am not the only person to have had this problem that day. The result was a very poor excuse for a snowman. Only thirty centimetres tall, looking like he’d already started melting. Missing a nose and a mouth because I couldn’t find small enough stones to make them. That piece of childishness was achieved. Poor excuse or not.

Thankfully, because the snow was too dry to pack for a snowman, it didn’t make good snowballs either. I am grateful for this as I am useless at snowball fights and Nik is brilliant. I would have lost, badly and ended up bruised.

Mistle Thrush,
Using the campervan as a bird hide.

Coming back to Horatio we noticed that the snow had forced the wild birds to make use of the bird feeders that had been placed at the edge of the tree line. Rather than the usual fifteen to twenty birds that we usually see by the feeders, we were now seeing fifty to sixty. Among them, birds that usually stick to the fields. As we had nothing else planned for the day, Nik made the most of this opportunity. Using the van as a hide, he dusted off his big lens and spent the day immersed in photography.

 

For more blogs about day to day living in a campervan, click HERE

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