I am attempting to write this blog in the centre of a maelstrom of far too much feverish, childish excitement. It’s like Christmas Eve, the night before the holidays and National Poetry Day* all rolled into one.
And what is the cause of this excitement?
The White Stuff, the right stuff.
Sparkly Daughter and Gothic Daughter heard on the radio this morning that there was a 50% chance of snow. Since then they have been pressing their noses pretty much constantly against the window, waiting for the first flakes to fall.
Of course this was pretty much old news to the rest of the household. Like you, I had been watching ‘news’ reports all week foretelling the ominous approach of The Snow. We have all watching the extremely excited weather-predicting folk leaping up and down shouting ‘SNOW! SNOW! Batten down the hatches! Actual WEATHER is coming!’
They love a bit of snow those weather forecasters, don’t they? They are suddenly at the top of the pile. Everyone’s listening. They are at the beginning of the news rather than the end, muttering incoherently about lingering cold fronts and accumulating scattered precipitation. When they have SNOW to talk, everyone stops making the tea for a bit to go – ooh snow. I should maybe buy some milk! Or a generator?? Or at least a shovel.
We have also endured the hyperbolic and pointless local news reports, featuring chilly, solemn men standing in front of piles of salt talking very very seriously about hazardous driving conditions and trying not to seethe too much about being stuck out in the freezing cold with almost nothing of any interest to say.
So the news all week has been the oncoming snow, dividing the country, and indeed the house, into the snow lovers and snow loathers.
(Actually the LongSufferingHusband is in a smaller category – the Snow Denier. The white blobs on the BBC website certainly fail to convince him; he says PHOOEY to the white blobs even when they are falling to the actual ground in the actual garden. ‘It’ll fall as rain!’ he says. ‘It’s just sleety!’ he adds. ‘Oh. Well maybe it won’t settle,’ he counters when I ask him to come and help me dig the cat out of the snow.
Sadly for the children, the snow didn’t start falling in earnest till bed time, meaning two over-excited girls who could only be reconciled to the idea of sleep by promises of snowy fun in the morning – ‘if it’s still here’, I whisper, hopefully.
For yes, reader, it’s true. I’m a Snow-Loather. I honestly can’t bear the stuff. I am a snow curmudgeon. Here are just a few of many objections to the White Stuff:
- Snow is very very cold. That’s the key really. I mean I don’t get in the house and think oh I’ll just have a little snuggle down in the freezer. Why would I want to choose to surround myself in a pile of fluffy frozen water?
- In addition to the coldness aspect, snow is also extremely wet. Making me wet. I do not like to be wet unless it is in a hot tub. I certainly do not like to be wet from the melting snow, for that means being cold and wet. For my feelings about being cold, see 1.
- Playing in the snow generally involves creating some sort of sculpture. I can just about manage a snowman, as long as your standards of realism and aesthetics are not high. I can certainly manage an abstract snow blob. With optional carrot nose. Unfortunately this will not cut the mustard with the Gothic Daughter. The Gothic Daughter has high standards for snow sculpture. One year I was required to produce a Snow Bush Baby; she was not impressed. Last year she raised the bar: a Snow Barn with a selection of Snow Cloven Footed Mammals, a feat of engineering and artistry way beyond my pathetically limited skills. Never have I prayed more fervently for a thaw.
- Sledging – The Village is very flat indeed so to find a slope steep enough for this extremely dangerous activity involves a long tramp past some very chilly looking sheep. On the way, one of the party will inevitably tell the story of the time they had to call the air ambulance to whisk away the injured sledgers. This story is met with much hilarity by everyone but me. I try not to compare my plastic tea tray with the expensive and exotic fairy-tale equipment everyone else has mustered from their garage. Why did I not buy one in October like everyone else?? Because I am in DENIAL that it will ever snow, that’s why.
So to tomorrow …. Well tomorrow I want to go into civilisation. Eat lunch and buy things in shops and drink coffee with friends in the warm and look at the dreaming spires. And this snow is going to get right in the way. Isn’t it? Yes. Yes it really is. Bugger.
So why, why then, am I standing right now, clutching my tea, and gazing out of the kitchen window. Watching the falling snow and the Petite Narnia it is creating in the back garden. Pogging snow – it’s inconvenient, it’s irritating but it’s beautiful and it’s magical.
And tomorrow I’ll put on my gloves and scarf and I might even muster a carrot and give it my best shot to create whatever complex snow menagerie is required.
Yeah. Let it snow.
*I will concede it’s possibly just me who finds Poetry Day exciting.