Thursday was “Ground Hog Day” – think a bit St.Swithan’s!
Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, has made his annual weather prediction on Groundhog Day. The good news for America is that after awakening from his hibernation in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, Phil did not see his shadow which means spring has come early. And as anyone will tell you, Phil is never wrong.
Groundhog Day, is celebrated on February 2 each year when, according to rural American tradition, the groundhog leaves the burrow where it has been hibernating to discover whether cold winter weather will continue. If the groundhog cannot see its shadow, it remains above ground ending its hibernation, but if its shadow is visible (that is, if the sun is shining), six more weeks of cold weather will ensue, and the animal returns to its burrow.
The tradition is believed to have originated in Europe and was associated with the Christian festival of Candlemas, though in the northern European version the animal that checked on the onset of spring was either a hedgehog or a badger.
Punxsutawney Phil is America’s most celebrated Groundhog. He met President Reagan in 1986, Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburg in 1987, and he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995. General consensus has it that Phil has never made a wrong prediction.
All I can say is if this is Spring I’m glad we’re not here in winter!! Night-time temperatures locally are about 30. I don’t believe we actually thought about being anywhere in winter, naively we just thought we’d follow the sun. Well it stays in Florida I think and as we’d already spent a month or so there, it seemed like a good idea to move on. We do seem to have found a spot here that’s about as good as it gets…dry, cold over night but we’re having lovely bright sunny days now, even if it’s still chilly (55 to 65 degrees F).
Friday…well we just vegged really.
Saturday…sometimes things don’t turn out quite as planned.
We were ready to head into San Antonio for a packed day. Malc popped his head under toad’s bonnet just to check everything was OK which thankfully he does every now and then. That however changed the whole focus for our Saturday. He spotted a problem with the rubber sleeve over one of the CV joints (I could have let him explain but it would have been more words!) So we’re at the campsite, between Austin 30 miles and San Antonio 49 miles and it’s Saturday late morning by now. I’ll spare you all the details except to say that after trying several Subaru garages only to find their service departments don’t work Saturdays or the phone just wasn’t answered, we were contemplating 2 days sitting in Bree! Then we hit the jackpot so to speak. Malc began talking to a guy from a garage in Austin, who it transpires was French but had lived in Leicester for many years would you believe and even knew Ashby where Malc was born. Well, he proved to be an absolute gem. Not only did he phone his mechanic and ask him to come in and do the job, but quite beyond the line of duty he actually lent us his car to use while they were working on ours. His service was amazing; the job was done in about 2 hours and for a very good price. If you are ever in, or near Austin Texas, with a European car needing some TLC give Patrick from” Revolution” a call!! www.revolutionmotors.com check it out, particularly the essence page, it’s like no other garage site you’ve ever seen! Good on you Patrick!
Oh and by the way Leo & Nat…Ross the mechanic had just come back from competing in the World Ultimate Frisbee in Perth! – see his profile on the site.
Patrick’s service included directing us to some cool places, the “Whole Food Market” was right up our street we spent ages in there. We bought some fantastic fish; Chilean Sea Bass (Patagonian Tooth Fish) and BBQ’d it when we finally got back. It was DELICIOUS. www.wholefoodsmarket.com – again just enjoy browsing their selections. You can find out all about the fish we had there too. Another good reason to live in Austin, Anastasia. We also called in at an outdoor shop called Cabalas on the way back, located in a town called Buda…another feast for the eyes and mind. We had to leave our guns at the door though! www.cabalas.com fantastic aquarium and amazing stuffed animals – all of which can be found within the continent of North America! see our piccies.Finally we rounded off the day with a visit to the outlet shops (Tanger) – beautiful sunset, shame it’s at the shops…