Snow clumps and snot


In case you missed it the first time round, or haven’t read my about me page (which is called introspective, because that’s all fancy and stuff), I am an Australian.

I’ve lived here in old blighty (yes, i AM allowed to call it that, I paid my dues!) for nearly 14 years now. Some of it feels like home, which is a disconcerting thought. But after over a decade, parts of daily life in Britain are as familar as the opening strains of the muppet show theme tune, and almost as likely to make me smile.

Things like chunky powerpoints, victorian architecture and all day breakfasts.

And then there are some things that I refuse to accept as normality, and that category includes black pudding and the weather.

Because honestly, black pudding is a seriously bad idea in anyone’s book, and the weather over here seems to be missing a whole season (the summer one).

Still, I forgive the weather all its vagaries when it goes and snows.

Coming from a hot country – for me – snow is always exotic. Snow means ski trips and holidays. Snow is one of my longest running fantasies from childhood. I used to dream that it snowed in Sydney, the harbour froze, and we all went skating on it. I still in live in hope.

So when it snows in London, which it does every year for about half a day, I love it.

I don’t care that the news is reporting the financial cost of the snow days as 8 million pounds per day.

I just want to go and jump in the stuff!

While we were in Sydney for christmas, putting up with 38 degree heat (God, I love it!) it started to snow over here in London. You may recall, I was not so pleased. The idea of a  white christmas occurring the one year I was not here for christmas was particularly untenable.

Luckily for me, they got slush. Winner. Who cares what they wanted, it’s all about me me me.

My girls love the snow too. They were disappointed to have missed out on the snow while we were away too. The fact that it was actually a terribly severe spell of weather that brought misery kinda bypasses us. Because I was insanely jealous when I heard that some people were stuck in John Lewis and they got to sleep there.

Imagine that – stuck in a department store all night. What child hasn’t dreamt of that? The manager who was also stuck fed 100 people and made up the beds for them to sleep in. How do you think that went? Who gets the waterbed? And do you get to keep the sheets – they can’t sell them after that, surely?

Did they all lie there saying “Goodnight Clarence!” “Goodnight Gwendolyn!” “Goodnight Mr Rochester!”

Sheer bliss. I wish I’d been there. Even though I snore. (Allegedly. I don’t believe a word of it.)

I hear Dixon’s wasn’t quite so accomodating. But then again, I don’t think they sell electric blankets.


By the time we got back from sydney, all that snow was gone. We had to scrape two weeks of ice from both the inside and the outside of the car in Heathrow carpark, but there wasn’t a hint of real snow anywhere.

But last night it all started again. Our backyard filled up with snow as flurries hurried down. It would have been lovelier if I’d not been out, and had to drive home through the snow in a car with non functioning wipers. That was a challenge. Every 100 metres I had to stop the car, get out, and manually push the wipers back and forth across the windscreen.

It wasn’t a spectacle that other drivers appreciated – especially not when I mistook a side road for a curb and stopped in the middle of it. 

I have a feeling that may have been somewhat illegal. I hope the police aren’t using blogs to crack down on idiot women crimes.

But I got home safely and parked halfway down our street, then got to walk back up in the virgin snow. (Virgin, *snort* !) Anyone twitching their curtains would have seen a seemingly grown woman hopscotching up the road so that she could leave amusing footprints behind.

Apparently this is a coldest winter since 1985. That fact isn’t so joyful for many people. Especially the ones who are facing temperatures of minus 18 degrees. They probably don’t think snow is quite as delightful as I do.

And I bet the people stuck all night in a traffic jam on the A3 aren’t big fans either.

Or the people whose pipes freeze and heating breaks down. Or anyone whose car slides on the ice and squashes the neighbour’s dog.

But APART from those conditions, snow is joyful. It brings happy.

What better way to pass an afternoon than by throwing clumps of solid water at one another until you go home with frost bite in most of your extremities? Or to build a triple icecream cone without the cone and stick squirrel food in it? Or see the delight of small children laughing at the sheer insanity of the outside world resembling the freezer, but without the fish fingers and leftovers.

Or to marvel at frozen boogers and blue tipped fingers, just before they realise that they are so cold that it hurts and we leave the park in tears.

And on a serious note – how beautiful it is to see the landscape transformed from grubby and ordinary to magical and mysterious. Although it’s pretty quick to transform into slushy and even more disgusting after that.

I love snow.

But just for ONE day, Gods of weather – OK? I need to go shopping on the weekend. I have priorities!

Categories: environmental stuff


  • Hi there! Just dropping by from SITS! I hope you have a fabulous day! Best wishes for the new year.
    Kindest regards,

  • We would love snow!
    Stopping by from SITS!

  • Ambrosia says:

    You sound like my husband. He loves snow. Me, on the other hand? I do not like it. Nope. I’d rather have sub-zero temperatures without snow than deal with driving in snow. I lived in the great white wilderness (aka Alaska) for 3 years. It was miserable. Snow came and stayed. And stayed. And stayed. It became unbearable. Especially during the 3 months of sub-zero temperatures. Yuck.
    I guess, though, I can see the magical side of it. The side I used to love as a child. To look out and see millions of snow flakes fall from the sky. Coating our lawn and driveway with its purity. Maybe I should try and return to that childhood innocence.

  • I live in the middle of the desert and completely understand the desire for snow! Last year it snowed almost a foot (and we NEVER, EVER get snow here) – it had been the first time that it had snowed like that since 1978. I loved it, the kids loved it – it was heaven! Snow is awesome!

  • alison says:

    Ambrosia, right now our snow has turned to ice, and the footpaths are like mountainous ice rinks. THAT I could do without! I drove in it for the first time yesterday, but most of the roads were clear, luckily. But I still love the magical side of it.
    existentialwaitress – I’m with you. When something is rare, it’s so much more special to you!

  • Gosia says:

    Beautiful writing. I hope that book of yours is coming to fruition. I am stopping by from SITS.

  • submom says:

    Virgin snow. LOL. It is awesome for making snow cone with then. My child was caught eating snow on the side walk. I had to yell at him: We have a big backyard full of CLEAN snow! “But there may be animal poops!” was his response. Glad you were able to enjoy the snow. Best of both worlds, eh? 🙂