No thaw. A little more snow last night. Cannot unfreeze kitchen tap but unfroze the waste pipe by pouring boiling water down the straight part & hanging hot water bottle over the bend. Tried to dig a hole to bury some refuse but found it impossible even with the pick. Even at 6” depth the ground is like a stone.
George Orwell’s diary, 19th January 1940.
UPDATE: From the entry for the 15th Jan 1940:
This must be the longest cold snap since 1916-17, when we had very similar weather (about end of February 1917).
1916 was in the previous cold cycle, in 1940 the warm period that had followed was starting to turn downwards, from its peak in the middle 1930s, into what would become the cold cycle that ended at the close of the 1970s. Interesting that Orwell noticed the period. But then, he had the mind of a scientist. From the same entry:
Today an egg rolled out of one of the houses & got frozen. On breaking it find that the white goes to a substance like jelly with bubbles in it & the yoke° goes to a consistency like that of stiff putty.