Sunday, 8 February 2009

Snow

I’m 34 and I remember some snowy winters in Britain. I have memories of trudging to school through the snow for about a week when I was nine or ten. I remember the sheer glee of playing out on the school filed. I remember making giant snowballs. I remember building snow ‘bunkers’ so that we could hide behind them during our epic snowball fights. I remember that, in my youth, snow was great. We’d pray for snow. We liked snow.

It was great to be so damn cold that you didn’t even feel the cold anymore – you just got on with playing. And we loved getting back in the house and warming in front of the fire with a cup of hot Ribena.

So I was somewhat disappointed when the forecasts of massive snowfall in the UK this week failed to materialise in my part of the country. I watched the news programs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday showing the snow in other parts of the country with some envy.

Then, Thursday dawned. Mrs. Nobbs looked out the window when she woke and squealed. We were snowed it. The snow was more than ankle deep. My car wouldn’t pull away without skidding on the untreated surface. The first proper snowfall I could remember in a long time.

Oh, we had a light covering last March, but this was proper snow. This was all the schools closed, workplaces empty, kids in the fields pelting each other with snowballs snow. And I loved it.

It seems that Political Correctness has invaded even snowfall. We now have a “snow event” in Britain, not just snow. And schools close at the first sign of the white stuff for fear of getting sued by some parent of a kid who slipped and fell or got hit with a snowball and bruised their arm or something.

But for me, I got to take my three-year-old out in the snow and make a snowman and throw snow at each other. He loved it, and I loved it and I was, frankly, a bit sad that I was able to get to work on Friday. Of course, once I set out and got to the ‘point of no return’ (the dual carriageway), it started snowing again and didn’t stop until after lunchtime. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to get home. But i did, and had another nice long snow walk with the family on Saturday.

Today is Sunday, and it’s started snowing again. It’s not too bad – yet – but the BBC is telling me it will get pretty bad through tomorrow and Tuesday. And then there’s the issue of the council running out of rock salt for the roads, so it looks like next week will be pretty disrupted as well.

Now, this whole ‘snow event’ might not be big news to some folks in parts of those United States, but over here, on this tiny island, it really is. We are lucky because our position at the end of the Gulf Stream that flows across the Atlantic from the Caribbean, means that for much of the year we get warm air to keep our climate much more tolerable than other countries as far north as us. The UK is as far north as Canada and Moscow, and they are not exactly know for there mild winters.

The price we pay, of course, is a lot more rain, but I tell you, rain is a damn sight easier to drive in than snow.

But, unlike a lot of other Brits, I’m not complaining. I love this weather and if it continues for the rest of the month, as some reports have claimed it might, I’ll still love it.

So, to finish, here are a few of the snow pics I took this past few days. There are a lot more on my Flickr Stream.

100_0334Snow in NorthamptonSnow in NorthamptonSnow in Northampton

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