Snow Business

I do like a bit of snow. On the down side, I haven’t been more than about two miles from home for the past week, but on the up side, Dartmoor looks beautiful, and I feel quite manly going out to fetch firewood and feed the alpacas every morning.  The forecast is saying the weather will turn warm’n’wet again this coming weekend, so I took this morning off and had a good long stomp over the hills near my house before it all melts. Here are some of the photos I’ve been boring my Twitter followers with…

Bonehill Rocks

Tracks of William Bell’s tractor in the field below our house.

Ice on the grass stems, up on the hill this morning

Sam’s school was closed, so we got lots of tobogganing and snowball fights in. And I gave him a quick history lesson about Anglo-Saxon England. How King Alfred Burnt the Cakes was something Every Schoolchild Knew when I was little, but the modern curriculum doesn’t seem to touch on it. I know it’s apocryphal, but it’s pretty much the only thing I knew about King Alfred, so I thought it a shame not to pass it on…

Chinkwell Tor



  1. Frank Kelly
    Jan 24, 2013 @ 22:14:59

    Just Beautiful Philip! Lovely images. Chikwell Tor is my favourite, though I love the light in Bonehill! And that first one is phenomonal! Those trees were in some rush! Oh, and I really like the two trees just below chikwell too!!! I would like to buy them, frame them and hang them in my office.


  2. Candy Gourlay
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 00:16:50

    But what is the cake story? (Us foreign folk need to know too!) Love the photos!


  3. Philip Reeve
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 12:23:59

    Supposedly, while he was escaping from the Danes after his defeat at Chippenham in the winter of 878, Alfred was given shelter by a peasant woman in the Somerset Levels. Not knowing who he was, she told him to keep an eye on the cakes she was baking, but he was too preoccupied with the troubles of his kingdom, and he let them burn, so he got a right telling off. I think this was quite a popular story in Victorian schoolbooks (a bit like the one about Robert the Bruce and the spider) and it still used to crop up a lot when I was a child – I remember it being the basis for sketches on children's TV shows and suchlike. It seems to have fallen out of a fashion a bit now – I may be wrong.


  4. Lauretta Allen
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 21:35:59

    Oh my gosh, these pictures are amazing! I so wish I was there. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  5. Philip Reeve
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 09:25:24

    Thanks Lauretta!


  6. Marjorie
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 14:24:53

    Those pictures are wonderful. Especially the sideways ice ones. Thank you for sharing them.


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