Friday, 6 February 2009
The White Stuff
Some white stuff swirls out of a leaden sky, and our little lives change.
To be fair, we haven't seen so much white stuff for over twenty years, so we are excited, frightened, anxious, angry, delighted, appalled and enchanted.
Schools close, public transport systems collapse. There is panic buying of bread, milk, loo rolls, and anything else that might possibly be in short supply. The airports are closed.....there will be no more strawberries from Morocco for several days. How will we manage?
We managed initially by panicking as soon as the severe weather warnings were heard. I called in at the largest local supermarket on Wednesday, and thought I was having a really Senior Moment and that it must be Christmas Eve. The massive car-park was full, and people were staggering around with trollies full of milk containers by the gallon. Every cash desk had a queue of at least ten people.
Then we managed by chatting to each other in the queues. We were all shocked but amused by everyone else's trolley-load. We, of course, were just buying a few essentials which we had planned to buy anyway. We'd just added a few extra items to be on the safe side.
Overnight the snow came, just as we had been told it would. But it still took us all by surprise.
It was quiet.
It was light.
It was beautiful.
Those of us who ventured out smiled at each other, and wished each other well, admiring our mutual bravery. Children, even adolescents, who had never experienced snow were having a wonderful time, playing, like children used to do.
The dog tried to eat it.
Now we have relaxed into our Nordic life-style. We have found the ski-poles and the toboggans and tipped the spiders out of the snow-boots.
We are being really nice to one another, united in this rare experience; thinking of one another, being kind.
By tomorrow the white stuff will be khaki slush and we'll all be moaning again. Only a few more days and we'll be eating Moroccan strawberries.