Saturday, 9 January 2010

A whiter shade of pale

I couldn't bear to give this post a snowy title as it's just so predictable that all that is on my mind is the snow. But I thought that given the British preoccupation with the weather I would while away some time coming up with my own personal pros and cons of the white out.

Pro snow

Tobogganing - or boganning as my four-year-old calls it - one of the best fun ways to work off the excess energy that is constantly threatening to boil over in my boys. Watching the four-year-old whizz down the local slope backwards, forwards, on his tummy on and on his back at breakneck speed with a huge grin on his face and cheeks rosy with a combination of exertion and cold is a sight hard to beat.

Snowman building - although I left this to the menfolk, I love looking out of our French windows to see Jolly the snowman manically grinning back at me, his charcoal eyes and pointy carrot nose the archetype of his kind. His spindly stick arms outstretched as if to catch more falling flakes of snow. Thanks to the hold off in the thaw he still looks as good as the day he was born, rather than the usual English snowman who only retains his glory for a scant 24-hours at best before sliding into premature middle age and dissolution.

The first snow day - When the flakes have formed a pristine, pillowy blanket which gently covers all the grit and grim of the city making it look sparkling and perfect, airbrushing imperfections away with its white embrace, and we are all snow bound in the house drinking hot chocolate and revelling in our radiator heated cosiness a snow day is nothing short of idyllic. When the other half is forced to stay at home rather than whisking off to the office and abandoning me to my familial fate and the boys are still sufficiently entranced to stop in their usual pursuits of winding each other up and destroying our house brick by brick I could almost wish that this temporary halt in proceedings would last forever.

The cold cons

The second and subsequent snow days - OK so it's enough already, the kids have already been home for two weeks for Christmas and it's about time school and nursery took over the job of entertaining them again. The roads and pavements are lethal, every time I want to leave the house I have to dig the car out and all my childcare is snowed in leaving me in sole and pissed off charge.

Schools closing - (see above). How is it that my husband can drive to work to leave me on my own with the children, but the teachers can't reach the school in order to take them off my hands again?

Penury - as a freelance I only get paid when I work, and thanks to the above problems, time to put my nose to the grindstone has been in short supply, add this to the the Christmas break and newspapers' Scrooge-like ability to skip payments that land anywhere within about five weeks of the festive period and the bank account is looking as red as Rudolph's nose.

Getting dressed - This is challenge enough in our house, but once you add all the layers required to keep the big chill out as well as just the basic essentials, leaving the house takes the best part of an hour by which time I have usually forgotten why I wanted to go out in the first place.

So I am not sure if I love or loathe the snow, but at least it gives us all something to talk about in order to distract us from the post-Christmas blues.


  1. I've just written a snowy rant myself - we've had to leave our house! So thank you for giving me a bit of perspective and pointing out some of the good points which I just can't see any more!

  2. I certainly sympathise about the lack of childcare. My husband worked over the Christmas break and I was practically banging down the door of Kindergarten in the New Year.

  3. HCM - glad I managed to make you see the bright side of the snow. Hope you get your house sorted soon.

    Jenny - abso-bloody-lutely. Four boys without childcare is just so not fun.