Thought I'd post to let family & friends know that we're managing OK under the extreme snow!
The total snowfall here since tuesday is just shy of a metre. It's been snowing constantly - it stopped briefly for an hour this morning but has started blizzarding again. The daft weather doesn't seem to care that this is Italy, not Siberia.
A state of emergency has been declared for the Emilia Romagna region, which is where we are. The military have been drafted in to dig folks out of their houses. This snow is no joke and I'm not gonna pretend that it's fun. This morning I lost it; having to fight the cold and wet each morning is exhausting. That said, we're better off than most are. We've had less snow than most of the region and we still have electricity. Heck, with the help of some boiling water we can still get in and out of the front door.
Several friends are stranded here, either because they can't drive home locally (houses are buried under 3m+ of snow) or because their flights have been cancelled. All the extra electric heaters we bought to make the winter comfier have been lent out to help make a few people less cold. It was only 4.5°C in here this morning but the woodburner stove warmed up pretty quickly. Our wood store should have seen us right through spring and it might now only last a few more weeks but at least we have it.
Up until last night we'd manage to keep one tap working, but that's frozen now too. Think everyone and everything on the Yard is frozen now! We're collecting the fresh snow, melting it & using it to defrost the toilet and the bus doors. We've butts of water for washing up and bottles of drinking water for cooking and cups of tea.
Tom was able to dig out the car yesterday and get off the Yard - he found a laundrette open and bought milk and veggie supplies, so we're good for another week. Which is handy, as we've been forecast another 10 days or so of the snow and cold. And then we're looking at another week to thaw out.
Tom's also been a star, helping others to add extra support to their roofs and brush off the snow. Our roof is metal, it's coping under the weight but several folks here have had quite a bit of damage, and that's not fun.
Having read the forecast for the next couple of weeks, we're busy with extra insulation jobs. We've some spare carpet that Tom is laying as an extra layer, and I'll be pinning old blackets around doors to help kick those drafts out. Tom's even carpetting the windows in the cab, as that's the biggest source of the cold. From what I've read on Twitter we're keeping warmer in our bus than many friends across Europe are in their houses... although many may not have the deep snow, they are colder, and we've still got that extreme cold to come.
We've still a few leaks but we've given up on trying to fix them - we're using a rotation of old towels to soak up all the water and keep us dry. Bizzarely, the freezing weather is drying them out so we can use them again! Damp is a problem but keeping water usage to a minimum helps with that, and I'm wiping the windows and walls as they need it.
Jimmy the ginger cat is fine, he's safely snuggled in with us. We are a bit concerned about the ferrals who live under the bus, but we can't do much for them. We think they're surving on the birds. If they stay under the bus they'll probably be quite well insulated with all the drifts.
There's been no blackouts for a few days and the internet has been pretty stable, so I'm hoping to get a few emails sent today. Otherwise, work is on hold: keeping us warm and dry takes priority.
We're coping OK, and we should be good for another week or so. It would be nice to have a shower or not have to boil snow to flush the loo, but at least we're relatively warm and comfortable!