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I love this time of year, the icy bite, the post Christmas sharp smell, the eerie longevity of the yellow tinted nights. The Victorian feelings of a greatcoat and watching your breath curl away from you, scarfs, hats and, above all, the snow.
Most people, well most adults anyway, seem to have a raging abhorrence to snow. As if winters great deceiver suddenly swoops down with nothing further on its mind then being a nuisance and making you have to buy de-icer. Like nature has nothing better to do but ice up the cogs of industry and make you have to put salt on the granite chips of your driveway.
It must be a modern thing, this aversion to the cold white powder, has to be. Some kind of evocation of the capitalist mindset, as if all the power and majesty of the elements is, whilst all well and good in the proper setting, like a David Attenborough show, or Sweden, in no way as important as the prosaic meandering of the day to day commute. Must get there on time drones the drones’ mind on that cold november bus stop seat, as if the world’ll collapse of cancerous hysteria should you be, say, more than ten minutes late.
I can’t imagine a caveman, for instance, walking out of his fire lit cave one crisp December morning and, surveying a three foot blanketing of snow , muttering to himself ‘Well thats put half an hour on my commute to the fucking forest’.Still, by the same token I can hardly see him thinking ‘My sweet Lord! Look at the majesty and splendour of the world on this day!’. To be fair, he’d probably just go ‘Ug’. Language not being the sophisticated and evolved tool of discourse it is nowadays.
But the hysteria that grips the nation from two inches of snow is pretty laughable really, as if the seventh trumpet of armegeddon is going to arrive disguised as a fucking snowman and kick off the devils reign of terror by closing a few schools for a couple of days. The Rapture as Raymond Briggs cartoon. Less Rivers of Fire more Playgrounds of Parka’s, the Demons torturing the souls of the Damned with an occasional ice ball in the ear. Plastic bagged feet kept tupperware fresh in wellies for the devils dinner, Satan being a renowned foot fetishist and all.
The solo slippy feet tango on the way to the shop, the two week preoccupation of whether or not golf shoes would sctually be a sound investment (currently only 20 quid in Aldi by the way), the not knowing if its ok to laugh until you’re sure the old lady who slipped over in town is uninjured. All of these things make winter, well, winter. And the whole year would seem a lot barer without them, like a reuniun tour of the original Who line up, there’d just be something missing.
And sure its harsh out there, and we can’t just drink vodka all day because we’re not Russian, and the death rate goes up, and there are more accidents on the roads, and water pipes burst and your feet are frozen. But when your inside, with a pie or a stew, and the fire on, and its dark out, and you can see the flurrying snowfales as they circle near your window…
I seem to have drifted off the point. (I was going to put something about ploughing on then, but as the first snowy reference was pure coincidence to then extended it with a second, very bad, pun would just be ridiculous). The point was, I think anyway, that for all the disruption snow brings to a country ill equipped to deal with so much as a smattering, I honestly can’t believe that even the most hard nosed workoholic, on rising from their bed and seeing a freshly laid carpet of virgin snow, doesn’t feel their inner 10 year old back flip with joy. I can’t believe for a second that the mind does not start to list the possibilites that a combination of a day off and all that cold, sticky, sculptable material could bring about.
This is why, should I wake up tomorrow and find a six foot shroud of snow has invaded and enslaved the streets to its primitive, atavistic ends I won’t swear. I won’t fret. I won’t raise my fists to heaven in a cry of ‘God! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?????’. What I will do, however, is this. I shall put the kettle on, make a cup of tea, stand at the window, view the magical picture postcard whitewashed cityscape, give a small smile and say, softly, non commitally, ‘Ug’.