The Frozen South

The Frozen SouthFell out into the world this morning, and as everyone and their dog will have already informed you, it snowed in London last night. And by god, have we made a big deal out of this. But let’s be sensible about this: it was a snow day. We might need used to them, because if the gulf stream gets fucked in the ear by climate change, as I understand looks reasonable likely, then Britain’s going the get the climate its latitude deserves. Still, as days go, it was kinda nice. Worked from home, found time to nip out and get a few pics, and to have lunch at the pub with Sarah to generally conspire and set the world to rights, as is our usual MO.

But photos and lunch with friends are part of my usual lifestyle. What was lovely, though, was the little slices of magic I kept stumbling over as I walked down the back streets. An Asian family, with 4 kids between the ages of about 5 and 15, spilling out of their house, playing in the snow, more or less just diving into the stuff as they horsed about. Dad leant on the gatepost with a video camera in his had, watching the kids horse about. And all of them, the youngest to the eldest had the same sort of expression on their face, of sheer bloody rapt delight. “We only moved here 18 months ago. This is the first time we’ve seen snow like this.”

I watched them play for a minute or two, and ambled on down the street, only to get clipped on the shoulder by a snowball. I turn my head, and two girls of about ten ducked their heads back inside from the upper window they were giggling at, scraping the snow of the ledge to ambush the unwary.

A bit further down the street, I stopped to help push a young woman’s car up the camber of the road when she couldn’t get traction, so she could get on her way – me and another guy trying to get out backs into it without the feet going out from under us, both of us straining and laughing at the absurdity of having to shove a car just these few feet away from the kerb.

The cemetery entrance drive, full of kids throwing snowballs and building snowmen, but never going further than the drive – the rest of the graveyard pristine and white and solemn and silent like something out of a postcard.

Just for once, the weather in this country being a thing people took a bit of time to enjoy, rather than complain about.