Our Story (part two): A Dramatic Arrival

The completion date for our purchase of Fornside Farm was set for Thursday 1 March 2018.  The day before this we left Bristol just as ‘The Beast from the East’ hit Britain.  Oscar had even worn (his brother’s) trousers to school for the first time in years, under threat from the headteacher that anyone silly enough to bear their legs in sub-zero temperatures would spend playtime in detention rather than outside.  As we left Bristol at the end of the school day, there was an icing of snow on the ground.  By the time we stopped at a motorway hotel at Stafford it was -5.5°C and the snow was 15cm deep.

We woke the next morning to a 25cm-thick blanket of snow and wild winds blowing.  Nevertheless, with no risk of detention, Oscar opted to wear shorts.  We wiped the snow from the cars and set off.  Following advice that the A66 was blocked, we left the motorway early and drove the very pretty but rather treacherous snow-covered roads through the Lake District.  Slowly!  And, over Dunmail Raise, in relief that we were following a much heavier vehicle’s tracks which meant we didn’t slide too much.  The road through St. John’s-in-the-Vale was just navigable, but the approach to Fornside Farm felt wild and unrecognisable.   Our removal truck was delayed, and when it finally arrived, it got stuck on the snowy farm track.

Amazingly, the previous owners managed to tow it up to the house.  The removal men kindly located Jasper’s sledge, so the boys were entertained whilst we unloaded.  Due to the conditions, the men were still valiantly going well into the evening.  We persuaded them to stop and offered them to stay at the farm, safely, but they insisted on getting going, saying they had a heater in their cab and food.  Joanna saw them drive slowly off down the track until the driving snow stung her face and she could see no more.  And so the adventure began …