Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Let It Snow, Let It Snow ,Let It Snow ............

It's that time of year when I awake each morning with excited anticipation. No, not because Christmas is just around the corner, but in the hope of waking to discover the effects of an overnight snowfall.

Unfortunately, here in Southampton my wish is rarely granted. When snow approaches from the South we are protected by the Isle of Wight, in the East and to the North the South Downs prevent the worst of the weather getting through. And when blizzards come racing up from the West country fire breathing dragons that live in the New Forest turn the snow to rain before it reaches us. Occasionally though a few snow clouds manage to sneak through undetected. My first winter was 1962/63, apparently so cold for so long that my mother was worried that I might not survive it. (44 years later nothings changed there, she still worries about me every day). Too young to remember that one, I do have fond childhood memories of regular snowball fights on the way to school and coming home to build snowmen that seemed to last weeks. In the early eighties I remember trudging Roald Amundsen-like 5 miles to work after discovering my Mark III Cortina completely buried one morning. On another occasion (very carefully) driving back from a Frankie Goes To Hollywood concert at Wembley on an M3 so deserted that at times there was not even tyre tracks marking the white pristine surface let alone another vehicle in sight. But in recent years there has been next to nothing, my daughters aged 11 and 14 have never seen what I would call "real" snow at home.

There's something about a fall of snow that brings out the child in me (not that that needs much encouragement at any time). At the first sight of a snowflake I rush outside seeing how long they last before melting on my arm, casting a judgemental eye at the clouds above and praying that the snow will keep falling for at least a fortnight. Everything just looks so different in the snow, clean, tidy and just asking to be played in. It's probably the rarity that makes it so special. There is something not only exciting but romantic about a snowfall. Only last weekend I found myself proposing to Mrs W* as we stood in a blizzard produced by an artificial snow machine (God knows what I might have asked her had the snow been real !)

And today has been the coldest day for ages, rarely getting more than a degree or so above freezing. The gritting lorries have been out. So I'm off to bed now with an air of excited anticipation. And just for once I'll be jumping out of bed as soon as the alarm rings, pulling back the curtains in the forlorn hope that this will be the day the snow returns. I know deep down I'm going to be let down, but if and when it does snow, look out for a young 44 year old making snow-angels on the green (or white) in front of his house before leaving for work.

*Proposing to Mrs W has caused a dilemma. Although not yet married she has always been referred to as Mrs W in the "virtual world". I'll have to come up with a new name - Mrs Mrs W? Mrs W mark II ? The Real Mrs W? At least I've got a while to come up with something new.

1 comment:

  1. Well done in `popping the question.` I note there is no indication of the fair Mrs. W`s reply. If it was in the affirmative, then many congratulations. If, however, it was negative, can I try?

    Happy Christmas,



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