Christmas 2017 and schnauzer Benji in the snow

Leading up to Christmas was different to the last few years in that I was feeling the festive spirit earlier than usual. Thankfully it was made even more Christmas like when my sister and brother in law drove up the motorway for a walk for my Birthday. We went to Scar House Reservoir where it had snowed and was extremely icy. My niece came too and is a very intelligent girl who was dressed properly for the occasion. Scar House is quite remote yet is picturesque and has, like most older reservoirs, an interesting history. The builders lived at the site in houses built by the water corporation. These included decent gardens, a cinema, washroom and a pub come social house. A railway connected Scar House and Angram, the reservoir above, with the local village of Pateley Bridge.

The ice was very hard to walk over but was a lovely place to be, albeit a bit cold.

A look over the water from Scar House Dam with snow in the background. Yes, it was bracing.

After the lovely walk we all drove down to the bungalow where we had some fish and chips. We very much enjoyed our day. Thankfully our family made it back safety down the motorway on what was a very cold day.

Christmas came quickly which was unusual for me. It was made better by actually having decent time off from work. My work colleague had made sure I did which I really appreciate. It sounds strange but I usually leave my time off until the last minute and then loose loads of days because of it. Julia and I sent to York and it was definitely Christmassy. Although I struggled to choose gifts it had a brilliant Christmas market. York is also great for its electric car charge stations so I could park for free and charge at the same time. I went back on my own and tried to choose some more gifts but with difficulty! My present buying was better when I went to Harrogate. As explained in my previous blog I went to Harrogate a few times as they have installed EV chargers at Harrogate Borough Council. It is a brilliant move and proper local hindsight, even if council’s have to hit clean targets and are late to the table.

Christmas Day was excellent. My father in law Martin came and Julia made a gorgeous Christmas dinner. We did not put the telly on until Martin had gone and I just could not wait to watch Doctor Who. ‘Twice Upon a Time’ was superb. I loved to see Rusty the Dalek return and the story was unexpected but great for that. The regeneration from Peter Capaldi to Jodie Whittaker was worth the wait. Nothing better on TV in my honest opinion. Back to the day itself and Martin gave us a top selection of his songs. Julia fell asleep due to the food, getting up early and all the preparation. It was a shame as Martins songs and live playing were entertaining.

A selection of photographs from Christmas Day. Benji getting his bowl and trying to get a toy from Martin.

A selection of presents from Julia and Martin singing in the evening

Recently we have had snow around Harrogate. My mother in law has bought my fossil fuel car, a good Toyota IQ, so Julia and I have one car at the moment. It is my EV Renault Zoe while I wait the extra few months for delivery of the longer range version. I am now not sure if Julia will take on my current EV now. She seems to not be interested in sustainability and wants a fossil car. It is very disappointing but it is her decision. I just think of the time I have spent with Renault getting it right. In my opinion the sooner people’s priorities change then the better for both the planet and our health.

The snow was quite deep and I took Julia to work. I later went to Summerbridge in order to give Benji a play in the snow. I gave up on the lane as it was icey. In the end I parked in my parents drive. Benji loved the snow. We went to the woods and he was having the time of his life. He got very wet but dried in Gran and Grandads where they had a log fire. I stayed there for a while and made it back to pick Julia up from work. New Years has just been and today Benji and I again went into the woods. It was very wet but just as much fun for Benji. It is great having time off at this time of year. May take him for another long walk while Julia is at work. Either that or build the Lego Saturn V rocket Julia bought me. Just as a side note, one present I bought my brother in law was a Parker fountain pen. At the same time I bought a slightly cheaper Lamy one. The reason was that I was practicing writing with them at the shop and remembered mine from school. It brought back how much better they are. I am glad I have been reacquainted with fountain pens. I hope to never go back.

Benji enjoying the snow and the shed looking festive as He warms on a different cold day

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