Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why snow seems almost impossible to understand the first time you see it.

Snow! 1.3 Billion lost by the economy in a day. But hang on - if the bankers don't turn up at work, that might prevent them losing more money. And we can build igloos. I've got one for sale for £20,000 if anyone's interested. Perfect for someone affected by the credit crunch. Outside toilet, obviously. In fact, buy it quick, it won't last. It's more of a Igslush really. Ideal as an outside play area for a dog, perhaps (a slush puppy).

This is the first snow, real, snowball snow for years, as far as I'm concerned. At least 2 years. In Victorian days people used to skate across the Thames, how cool would that be? Imagine the consternation on the faces of the Dickensian characters totting up the billions of pounds lost in a day...

I can't help thinking this is one of the things that makes Britain Great. The fact that we're sometimes a bit rubbish at stuff. That everything isn't terribly organised. And whilst that's annoying when it's a train you're waiting for, it does allow us to improvise and bring out our playful side. Dunkirk is remembered as one of our greatest national achievements - and that wasn't organised, just people doing their best. Necessity is the mother of invention. Or else stay at home and put on a jumper. What is it with people not wanting to put a cardy on these days - Grumpy Old Man head on - for flatmates' benefits - it's winter. Put on a jumper before you turn up the central heating again. Thanks.

Of course, the snow will be rubbish when it freezes and I fall over on my botbot on the ice. But I was walking down the road in my current superslow style earlier - and it was school kicking out time. And there were contrasting pictures:
  1. Dad/mum delivering children home in the car. Telling them not to dillydally and get themselves in the house. Kids fascinated by the thick dollops of snow on the garden wall - tempted, oh so tempted to start chucking snow pies at each other - dad shouting again. Kids disappear inside.
  2. Random lads marching home purposefully. Carrying piles of snow, off to have some great battle or build a snow robot.
  3. Wistful kids slightly bemused but delighted by it all. Sweeping snow off the top of cars, not sure whether to collect the snow or just watch it fall in big cold sheets. It really was like they didn't know quite what they were supposed or allowed to do.
This observer makes the observation: kids should be allowed to walk home on their own if at all possible - or with their friends - or in a big gang of loosely supervised kinder - (though not allowed near roads if they're little). You learn more when you're not being told what to do. Learning by doing... What's the betting the car kids put the telly on as soon as they got in... Get outside - but put a pair of socks on your hands though - kittens for mittens - we don't want your gloves getting ruined.

As an adult I remember waking up on Christmas day in Edale a few years back - in a complete white out. It was very scary but we had a guide. Nature is dangerous and beautiful and in Britain we have the most unpredictable, changeable climate going. Isn't that great? So if you're going walking, pack your waterproofs. But I wouldn't have gone up Snowdon when there's snow at ground level, it's crazy nasty up there in July.


  1. I am going to come and ruin your fun! I hate snow, and the fact that everyone keeps going on about it has made me ill (literally, I have a bad cold)!

    Not only that, I am sick of seeing pictures of it on peoples facebook page, and sick of hearing about it in the news. Get a grip. Not you... you don't have to get a grip, or the kids in the street playing... kids SHOULD play, but the country shouldn't have to 'stop' - I put that word in little comma things because I am not actually sure the country has stopped, but if the news people said "its snowing, and people are carrying on like always", it wouldnt be as exciting! :)
    rant over.

  2. I think it's cos it snowed in that there London and the buses stopped. It snows on mountains and countryside places all the time but no one bothers. But you can't hate snow, Sam! You need counselling to find the causes of your snowfear, perhaps a big kid dolloped a pile of icey snow on your head and you've been traumatised ever since.

    I suggest a holiday in Lapland or Iceland as a cure. Iceland has hot water volcanic springs and is currently an economic wreck so is very cheap. I suggest you go there and get over your fears.

    In other news - some people just don't like anything that stops them driving so are angry at virtually everything from pedestrians to weather to speed cameras bla bla. I'm ranting now. It's healthy. Get it out.

  3. I only dislike it for two reasons. One, is - the birds struggle to find food, and the other, is that driving becaomes a nightmare.

    As for the rest... bring it on!

  4. Um. It snows every year. It's frozen rain that looks pretty. I'm with Sam.