For the first time in three weeks no need to scatter yesterday's ashes across the ice and snow. Today it was a case of dropping them into the pot holes in the lane, a custom that has become a ritual that is now a necessity, a service and a routine.
Once daylight becomes available again, most likely Friday afternoon I'll check the tyre pressures and the oil. The sump has a longstanding leak, not a drip, more the kind of slow hemorrhage that coats the underside of the engine gradually with a fine oily, dirty mist. A pint of top quality supermarket oil a month depending on usage maintains an uneasy equilibrium. Not quite like the power steering fluid leak, now the subject of possible miracle status and a Papal investigation. It was low and the pump was noisy for a while and so I topped it up each week and each time allowed it to go a little above the mark. Gradually the level stabilised, the leak stopped and now the steering is smooth as a Bentley on an ice rink. Payback will of course come one not so fine day.