Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Living in the UK, I used to love snow. We didn’t seem to get it very often, to be fair, hence the unprecedented excitement about whether a few drops would fall on the Met Office’s roof on December 25th (the official British definition of ‘a white Christmas’, apparently). But back in my childhood, we’d all head out into the street and play until every last bit of virgin snow had been trodden in or thrown.

Even as an adult, snow in Britain was still an occasion that brought a smile to my face. Sure, I wasn’t throwing snowballs any more (well, not that often anyway), but what’s not to like about the way that the sun reflects off newly fallen snow, or the sight of trees capped with flurries of white. OK, so the occasional train got cancelled, or you might fall on your arseass infront of a big group of people waiting for a bus now and then, but it’s a small price to pay for walking in a winter wonderland.

Now that I live in the US, all that joy has been taken away. Kids still play in the freshly fallen snow, and the setting sun still glows like never before. But now when I see snow, all I see is stuff that has to be moved out of the way so that nobody sues me for all my life savings and my priceless collection of Beano annuals.

See, in the UK, nobody other than businesses really bother to shovel snow from the area around their building. Everybody else just accepts that if you fall on snow outside somebody’s house, you get up, brush yourself down, and move on quickly while hoping that nobody has noticed. Especially not that girl from number 18.

But no, the United States has to take all the joy out of snow. When I notice snow falling as I go to bed, I don’t dream of carefree snowball fights with The Young Ones the following day – I just think about the twenty minutes I’m going to have to spend getting rid of the stuff, or have nightmares about the person who falls and accidentally impales themselves on a stray twig that had coincidentally dropped from the tree above only moments before.

Maybe I’m missing something here. After all, it snows all the time during the winter on the East Coast, so you’d think people would be used to it by now. And contrary to popular belief, snow is not invisible – it’s not as if you can complain that you didn’t know it was there, or that it can sneak up on you when you’re least expecting it. It’s like blaming somebody for the fact that your hair got wet after it started raining while you were walking past their house.

Folks, it’s time to put the fun back into snowfall. Snow is our friend – a cheery visitation that puts everybody in mind of their responsibility-free childhood days. A time to treasure the fact that you can put handfuls of the stuff into somebody’s hood, and then watch in ill-disguised mirth as they unwittingly pull it over their head. It is not a reminder that you need to check your insurance details, or the cost of late night flights to Rio.

Actually, scratch that last one. With snow and freezing cold enveloping New York at the moment, a nice caipirinha on the beach at Copocabana seems pretty damn tempting right now I can tell you.

11 thoughts on “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

  1. Karen

    That’s where heated paths come in handy! Although they are mostly on the shopping streets.

    I could never get sick of the snow, which contrary to popular belief does not actually fall so frequently here. I could do without my other half putting it down my pants though!

  2. Silverback

    I can’t match Copacabana, Dylan, but I had a lovely drink at a hotel beachside tiki bar yesterday over at Ft. Myers Beach on the Gulf of Mexico.

    Ironically I had a stinking cold and was sneezing in the 82F temps but that was a small price to pay.

    Snow ? I think I remember that !!

  3. Urban Panther

    We got a very nice letter from the postman a month ago, asking us to please keep the pathway to the mailbox clear so as to avoid any unfortunate incidents. Reading between the lines: if I fall in your yard, I will leave your letter box open in rainstorms in the Spring, and I will make sure you VISA bill goes missing.

    That being said, the Lion is out snowblowing ONCE AGAIN and we can no longer see out of our first floor windows. I have to say, enough already!

  4. Sven

    Oh, I miss snow! Since I’m not going to see a proper winter till Dec 2010 I think that’s more than enough notice for Santa to do his job and give me what I want for Christmas. Are you listening, you jolly red-faced chump? I WANT SNOW.

  5. Esther

    I can only dream of snowball fights. Here in LA it’s over 80F with those damn desert Santa Ana winds! Where is that winter I’ve been waiting for?

  6. Expat Mum

    Our alderman sent out an e-mail last week telling us that we were legally required by the City to keep our sidewalks cleared. Not quite sure what the penalty is but like you, I’m fed up with shovelling the bloody stuff. The worst thing is that because it never gets above freezing till about April, the stuff just sits in mounds, getting dirtier and dirtier by the week.

  7. Dylan

    Karen – are you talking about British pants or American pants?! If you’re having snow put down the British version by your other half, I think that’s grounds for legal action.

    Silverback – stop rubbing it in, or I’ll be on your site every day during the summer telling you about the East Coast sun while you endure another rainy summer’s day in Yorkshire!

    Urban Panther – nice to see you on the site…thanks for finding me. And it’s amazing the power that postmen, binmen (OK, trash colectors) etc etc have over us…we all live in fear…

    Sven – you KNOW that it won’t snow, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up!

    Esther – my heart bleeds for you and that 80F temperature…

    And Expat Mum – you’re so right about the snow just piling up. Most of the latest batch of snow went on the first day, but now the rest of it will probably be here until April!

  8. Pingback: A Brit Out Of Water » Blog Archive » Britain is closed for business

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