The snow came yesterday, just when I thought I was starting to cope with winter. I don’t like frost and rain and fog and wind and all the other meteorological shit that goes with the dark days but snow takes the absolute biscuit.
Yesterday I didn't travel anywhere. I went absolutely nowhere at all. Not even to my wheelie bin to discard my fit-to-bust Tesco carrier bag full of things I've hacked off the pedal extremities of my favourite senior citizens in recent days.
I haven’t got chains on the wheels of my car. I haven’t got a team of huskies and a sled. I haven’t got a pair of snow shoes or skis. I haven’t even got the patience to look out of the window at the white fluffy stuff falling from the heavens and clogging up my world outside. I like snow as much as I like syphilis, but at least there are ways to avoid syphilis . . . apparently!
Yesterday it snowed and the whole of Britain took on the appearance of Siberia (on a hot day). In Britain schools closed, transport was thrown into chaos, bins weren’t emptied, bones were broken, roads and teeth were gritted, and even the hardiest of Foot Health Practitioners couldn’t get out of their houses to trim the toenails of the sick and elderly. In Siberia nothing happened apart from a bit of salt mining and then everyone went down the pub for a splash of vodka and a cabbage.
Here we just can’t manage when winter’s worst hits us but really we get so little snow I don’t know why we bother worrying. I watched a BBC Television documentary tonight about the ‘Big Freeze’ in 1963 and that was a real disaster. Pubs closed, food and fuel supplies were drastically interrupted, the economy froze as much as the ground did, the football season had to be extended by a month and very sadly, people died. But what we get these days, by comparison, is never really more than a bit of inconvenience.
The street outside my palatial abode at Casa De La Revolución Gloriosa was covered in a deep and crisp and even carpet of at least ten centimetres. It covered my unsightly crop of weeds and the pile of lavatory plip plops that a selfish dog owner had allowed his or her beast to deposit in my front garden. There wasn’t a scrap of litter or a cigarette end to be seen anywhere. There wasn’t even a human being to be seen as the icy precipitation precipitated itself all around until the late afternoon. For a few hours the street looked pretty but in the back of my mind were the days of brown and grey slush that follow such frigid flurries as sure as penguin eggs are penguin eggs. Being a positive sort of a soul, however, I concentrated on the pretty aspect of the situation for as long as I could.
It was a great inconvenience to me yesterday but only for one day so I shouldn’t moan. So why am I moaning, I ask myself? Well snow is just anti-social, I suppose. It stopped me from going to work which caused distress to my lovely customers who were in need of a bit of foot fiddling and it caused a dip in my stream of income to the tune of a whole day’s takings. I like to get out of the house every day but not on days when I’m going to get cold and wet and when there’s a risk of me falling on my arse on the ice and looking like a complete eejit all covered in bruises and blood.
As it was only for one day I got by. Cabin Fever is what they call it in North America and by the time I went to bed last night in my 1990s Bovis Home I was in a thoroughly febrile state despite having done my best to survive what nature had thrown at me during my day of incarceration.
Once I had conceded defeat and accepted that I wouldn’t be able to get to work, I drew the blinds, turned the heating up, boiled up a bath full of fresh coffee, gnawed on some walrus blubber that I had hidden away in the summer months, squeezed a spot on my nose, listened to BBC6 Music on the radio, dreamed of the Tropics and did my business accounts. It was the business accounts that was the most depressing bit really; a job so monotonous that it takes a blizzard from hell to pin me down and make me get on with it.
This morning I rose from my slumbers to find that there had been no more snow. Gleefully, I leapt into my wellies and out of the front door into the winter wonderland. My fourteen year old, 195,000 plus miles, trusty old Honda Civic sparked up with the first turn of the ignition key and I sped off along the almost ice free roads to tart up the toes of the townsfolk and earn myself a shilling or two. Dorothy, Pam and Edith were so pleased to see me and commended me on my bravery in battling the elements to see them.
So now that the winter is over I’m happy again, as are Dorothy, Pam and Edith. Bring on the spring, we say!
It may be winter outside, but in my heart it's spring.