Moving back from Switzerland we believed dealing with lots of snow was behind us and we were always told that it snowed once every five years and it had snowed in 2018. However, in January 2021 we saw more snow over one weekend then we saw in three years in Switzerland! We estimated that in 2 days we had 65cm of snow... take a look at the pictures - these show:
Photo 1: 8th January was a 1 cm dusting
Photo 2 & 3: 9th January with 30cm falling - a huge surprise
Photo 4 to 6: 10th January when we got a further 35cm and we amazed and now a bit concerned that our animals and structures were going to survive.
While there was something to admire in how snow changes the look and created a certain beauty. While walking to the village bar was quite an expedition.
In the end the key issue we had was when the snow started to melt and slide off the roof of the house and cause an avalanche that crushed our gazebo that was less than a year old and removed some tiles from the roof in the process. Most of the snow slid off at night time which created some alarming sounds and we were concerned that some of our cats might have been caught up in this but in the end all was ok. We disposed of the gazebo and used the house insurance to have the roof repaired.
All of the woodsheds and goat sheds that we built survived. Which was interesting when we heard that a large warehouse in Falset collapsed as it was built to survive 50cm of snow only.
We had moved the car to the village just in case it got snowed in but as the picture shows below that just meant it was stuck there instead. Ethan helped clear the drive and a space for the car and we got it back at the house 3 days afterwards as the snow started to melt. Clearing a space for our car was complicated by the snow plough that cleared the road and left a 1m high wall of snow in front of our driveway.
The other damage was to our trees. Many branches had broken under the weight of the snow and one large tree came down. This generated firewood but it took us the next year to collect, cut half broken branches and stack the wood up for burning - showing just how much damage was done. While the snow had all gone after just a week.
Frances and Barry Copping bought Xalet Pigall in 2015. They are working towards resilience and self-sufficiency.