Friday, 8 January 2010
Snow, that magical sight children spend their entire winter waiting to be greeted by from the other side of their curtains. It’s their ticket to a school free day, a day that was previously written off to sums, spellings and uniform suddenly scrounged back, not only is it a free day, but there, right in front of them is their days entertainment, a rare treat, a day of fun with their friends and it doesn’t cost a single penny. Others, generally the older generation are not quite so thrilled by such a sight, I have sadly become one such adult who feels thoroughly let down by mother nature the day I open my eyes and can sense, even before those curtains are drawn what’s waiting for me on the other side. It’s that bright white glow bursting through the curtains, that eerie silence, somehow I can just sense it and so I start the slow and unimpressed, once yearly routine of dragging myself from my warm covers to greet the snow. Firstly that freezing air hits, the heating, already set to the equivalent of the Sahara desert still failing to live up to its promises, next the blurry eyes that really would rather you forgot the whole idea of ever waking up and would prefer to snap themselves firmly shut again and burry back under those warm covers. Finally the curtains and all hopes that I may have been wrong dashed as the piercing sight of bright white snow hits those weary eyes and so the grumbling begins. Really, this weather deserves a lot of grumbling, I am a fair weather person, the hotter the better, sun, cloudless blue skies, beach, cold showers just to momentarily remember the feeling of being cool, that’s my territory right there. This cold, white wintery land really is very alien, I skid around, bum stuck out, walking boots on mumbling, just quietly repeating to myself “Don’t worry it’s not just you, Bridget Jones does have similar issues... even Cameron Diaz!” as the cool guys, city coats on swagger past with their ‘I’m out for my casual morning stroll in the snow’ look on their faces, that stroll they never take any other time of the year except today, this is their ‘grown up’ way of celebrating their free day, and if they run into a pretty girl, well so much the better. Secretly I just want to poke them in the bum and send them skidding as they spring down those ice covered steps, not a hint of skidding at any moment. Me, I rather less elegantly brace myself, hold firmly onto the rail with both hands, something I shouldn’t need to be doing for at least another 60 years yet, (no matter what) place my feet wide apart, stick my bottom out for balance and sidle up those steps. I could go on, suffice to say it’s an ordeal, every bit of it.
I bet your wondering a) why, if I hate such weather I would even consider venturing out in it in the first place and b) how on earth this relates to travelling...??? Well, firstly, and why I believe some adults are somewhat less impressed by snow is the rather depressing fact that we have responsibilities (those responsibilities I spend most of my life pretending I don’t have really cannot be ignored on snow days). While children are freed of their solitary responsibly we are not. Snow just makes responsibilities even more laborious, all hopes of free time, those few precious ‘me’ moments can be kissed goodbye, honey, this weather is going to require double time to do anything! Whether it’s the days before the snow or during the snow, really how much power does that weather man have over us Brits, if he so much as whispers the word snow, guaranteed the supermarkets will be jammed, shelves will be cleared and the British public will be ‘stocking up’ for the days ahead. Jesus, it drives me insane. Especially when I fail to ever notice the weather man, the dusty object in the corner that is apparently a TV or even what day it is, except the fact I have run out of milk, I am hungry and I do want my cereals now, so the British public’s weather panics slowing down my milk missions are never appreciated! In fact it was Tesco where I got the first hint of imminent snow this year, I was on one such milk mission, tummy rumbling, Tuesday mid-morning, it’s a post Christmas work day, everyone should be cold, skint and working hard yet can I find a single parking space in Tesco... no. This along with comments such as “I think that was a just in time job” coming from the bundled up couples heaving bulging bags into their boots as I hike the mile from my far out parking space to the front doors only to discover when I finally do arrive at the milk shelves that there's no milk left, actual disaster (Well, I technically tell a lie, there are a few lonely cartons of that white watery stuff people like to call ‘skimmed milk’ floating in the sea of metal cages, yet they honestly can’t really believe that’s actual milk in those cartons, it’s just coloured water) something must be up. Sure enough, Wednesday morning arrived and I woke to that eerie silence, oh shit. Really, please no! Covers off, ‘please train, drive past my window...’ no train. Curtains back, honestly, I have never seen so much snow, it was a shock and it was at that moment I decided I would hide. It would all be fine, there is no need to grumble, go back to bed, draw the curtains and pretend you’ve never seen it. That would have been fine except for 20mins later the phone starts, there is only one person that could be, either the manager or the supervisor... either way it means Debenhams and work calling, do I or don’t I answer it, obviously they know I can walk the managers caught me jogging before, yep eventually my conscience got the better of me. I dragged myself, for the second time that morning from those warm and comfy covers mumbling things such as ‘bloody folding, won’t even let me sleep in peace!’ and ‘They don’t even know how lucky they are’. So this is how it came to be, so dedicated to my job that an hour later, hair still wet from the shower, quickly stiffening in the minus zillion temperatures, thermals, down jack, waterproofs, walking boots, gloves, trousers had all be donned, I found myself negotiating the Morrison’s steps, bottom out, cursing the world, bright and happy guys bouncing by, really not how I had envisaged my morning!! This all relates to travelling for one simple reason... I HAVE GOT TO ESCAPE THIS GREY AND MISAREABLE COUNTRY!
So it is that I have chosen this cold evening, bundled in my warmest PJ’s, TV dusted off to start my travel blog, determined I am emigrating a.s.a.p. To find where I am going to move to I need to travel, a lot, research you see. Rather a long winded and bizarre way to start, but my mind works in mysterious ways. I am meant to be escaping this white island that’s rather too close to the North Pole for my liking for the desert on Sunday, yet there's no other word for it, I'm nervous about whether I will get out. I will keep anyone who has had the stamina to read this far posted but rest assured I will give it my greatest efforts to ensure I reach that plane!
Happy sledging guys, I hope you are more of snow lovers than I am!!