Snow Day 2013 … Britain : ” Normal Service Shall Resume Shortly ”

They have been warning us for about a week. The Powers That Be apparently knew it was coming. In fact KM and I decided last night that we would cancel his visit this weekend just in case (BOO!)  and, thankfully, I managed to rebook the hotel booking for next weekend (YAY!)  Be prepared… yet here we are at a standstill.  Schools are closed, University: all classes cancelled, no buses, no taxis, planes grounded,  limited trains….. Half the shops in town shut.

“What is the catastrophe,” I hear you shout?

SNOW!

My road when I got Up this morning !

My road when I got Up this morning !

Heavy Flakes that actually stay on the ground. Layers upon layers of them. Well 3-4 inches anyway.

Yes dear friends…Snow Day 2013 is upon us.

Now, unlike many that I know, *I* love Snow. Yes, I really do. It’s so pretty and picturesque. I love the excitement of all the children listening to the radio, eagerly waiting to hear if their school is on the “Magic List.” One friend’s children even layed out their warm clothes and welly boots by their bed last night, just in case. She said it felt like Christmas all over again. It was Snowmas Eve and all through the house not a creature was stirring… and so on. It has to be said that my Facebook feed was lit up last night by almost the same level of excitement, expectation and discussion from my fellow classmates. Would the university actually shut!?!..

No news.  I went to bed.

My usual alarm goes off at 6am and this time as I turn my light on,  I look up. A blanket of white covering my attic skylight. JACKPOT! We have snow… but still no news. So, good little student that I am, I bundle up and prepare to brave the cold. In my new walking boots – hastily purchased yesterday (when snow is on the way and the only casual pair of shoes you have with you are a flimsy old pair of Sketchers you can be forgiven for panic buying!) Just as I’m about to set off , I get the call from a thoughtful classmate “The bus isn’t running – go back to bed 😛 ”  Woohoooo!! But I didn’t go back to my warm cozy bed, tempting as it was. It was 6.30 AM.. and the thought of all that fresh undisturbed snow had me as excited as if you had dangled a massive sheet of bubble wrap in front of my nose… pop pop pop poppopopopopop !

So off I went, Camera at the ready! And it was Beautiful. Not to mention, peaceful.

Statue near my home.

Solitary Lady

Cathedral Close Nearby.

Cathedral Close Nearby

A walk in the park

A walk in the park

Snowman :-)

Snowman 🙂

I’m always left shaking my head in disbelief as my country grinds to a halt as the slightest smattering of the white stuff. It is farcical, really, and I’m sure it gives our cousins in colder climes much to laugh about. We Brits just don’t know how to deal with it. We don’t have the infrastructure and we do just seem to collapse in a quivering mess. A few years ago, I’d have defended us to the hilt. I mean, I had hardly ever seen snow in these parts of England… that I can recall anyways. The last few years it has become more common and I can’t help feeling that the authorities aught to take note and make some appropriate changes. There are definite losers in this whole situation: small business owners, self employed folk who will feel it in their pocket books or even the kids… and the big kids it has to be said whose schools and workplaces are open as all around them have a bonus day off.

That’s how Snow Day feels to me: Bonus Day.  You have nothing to do, and you can go nowhere – life slows right down. It’s magical to see. So few cars on the street I can and do literally stop down the middle of the road. The bright splashes of color Winter clothing amid the Sea of white. Most people so bundled up you really only see a face. The seasonal frosting makes me wish to visit all my favorite places. The beauty of the crystal white landscape making me take time to really appreciate the places I already knew were stunning but usually hurry past in a frantic rush to do this or fetch that or get here on time…

There seems a new sense of friendship, like we’re all in on some fun prank. We’ve blown off most of the responsibilities of our mundane lives just for this one day. We’re all in this together and isn’t it fun!  Giggles and shouts fill the air… people are making snowmen, throwing snowballs, whizzing down hills on sledges, snowboards, and now snow scooters apparently ( I still like to see the kids using tea trays and dustbin lids) Whole families spending hours outdoors together!

Yes, it’s true I was lonely this snow day without KM to share it with. I had my moments of sadness, feeling more like an observer than a REAL participant, watching the families and children playing in the snow… and the toddlers who have NEVER seen such a thing before..

Even seeing the puppies bouncing round eagerly trying to figure out all this white stuff… to the meandering old dog that’s seen it all before… who looks up at his owner yelling “SIT! SIT!” as if to say ” would you put your bare bum in it!?”  Its cold his paws are wet and he’s not impressed.  I still feel on the outside of this wonderful life… wishing… hoping and praying… that one day… my kids will be clomping down the stairs in their winter boots and slamming the front door shut as they rush out loud with the thrill of it. I hope one day “Daddy” will have to stay home from work, too, and we can all build a snowman together. Yes, I do still hope. I do still pray… and I do still feel like this is missing.

BUT I can see the beauty all around. I allow myself to really pay attention to what’s going on around me – to be infected with others joy. I laugh as I crunch crunch crunch through the snow and back up the hill to the warmth of home. Sometimes, it really does us good to grind to a standstill…

Normal service will resume shortly….

Just me with added frosting.

Just me with added frosting.

Ali xX

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