“Hello”, I thought, looking out of the window at the light covering of snow, “it’s been snowing”. You see, I’m perceptive like that. Perhaps I shouldn’t have assumed that it had been snowing, just because there was snow on the ground, but it seemed like the most plausible explanation. Of course, the kids were excited, but also simultaneously disappointed, because it hadn’t forced the closure of schools. I think they were looking forward to a snow day today, judging by the fact that Bethany has written “Close that school!”, twice, on my notepad while I was in the shower. Even the dog loves the snow, tearing round the garden and enthusiastically catching and eating snowballs. I, on the other hand, looked at the falling snowflakes gloomily because of the major hassle the white, cold, fluffy bastards will cause. Taking the two girls to school up the steep, slippery hill was a challenge, but it was a walk in the park compared to what may be lying in wait for me at work later.
A couple of years ago, I got stranded in central London at my depot overnight because of a huge snowfall. It wasn’t a pleasant night. I should have finished work at 10.30 p.m., but actually got home at 10.00 a.m. the next day. Today, I’m supposed to be heading to Luton. Now, those who know me well know that Luton is probably my least favourite place in the world, with Croydon coming a close second. Apologies to those people who live in Luton and love the place (I’m sure their tight, white, sleeveless jackets that make them hug themselves are keeping them nice and warm in this weather), but if I swear that if England had hemorrhoids, Luton is where they’d be. The thought of being stranded in Luton with no way of getting home leaves me feeling more depressed than a Goth being forced to watch the X Factor. Plus, there’s just so much that can go wrong with the railway when the weather decides to cover the country with Arctic dandruff.
Naturally, like any kid, I used to love the snow when I was younger. Snowball fights, building snowmen, sledging, writing in the snow, filling other kids’ hoods with snow then putting them up, putting handfuls of snow down my sister’s back, putting handfuls of snow down my sister’s trousers, shoving lots of snow up the neighbours’ car’s exhaust pipe… all great fun. These days, I love to see the kids’ enthusiasm and wish I could share in it, but snow means hard work, inconvenience, cancelled deliveries, transport problems getting into work, delayed post and last, but not least, frozen hands, frozen feet and frozen… other extremities. Extremities I happen to be very fond of.
Still, it’s the 1st of December today. The day the children open the first door on their advent calendars, ignoring the illustration to guzzle the chocolate, marks the start of when it becomes acceptable (to me) to hear Christmas music. Every time I hear a Christmas song in November, it makes me grumble and swear about the cynical commercialisation and how it gets earlier every year – but now it’s December, I’m more than happy to hear Slade, Wizzard, Band Aid, Jona Lewie, Greg Lake and, yes, even Mariah Carey. Strange how you never hear that catchy Gary Glitter one any more, though. Actually, that’s one of the positives about the snow, it definitely feels a little more Christmassy – even though we seldom have a white Christmas.
So, I guess I don’t hate the snow. I just begrudge it’s existence. It wouldn’t be half as bad if I didn’t have to go to work in it – if I could crank up the central heating, stay home in the warm, eat piping hot, wholesome food and keep the warming hot, sugary tea flowing – but as the afternoon approaches, so does the time the work uniform has to come on and, before I know it, it’ll be time to catch the bus and to take my train up to Luton. Joy. Still, if it carries on snowing, perhaps all the trains will be cancelled and I can come home early instead. Which sounds marvellous – until you then have to work out how to get back home when the bus service has been snowed to a standstill.
“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow“? Dean Martin, you can sod right off.