Snow Country For Old Men

A couple of years back I woke up one summer’s day and on seeing the sunlight streaming in and finding a glorious day as I pulled back the curtains I thought to myself “This is great clothes drying weather!”

It’s one of increasingly frequent moments when I realize that I’m getting older.

Years before it would have been met by joy that I could play outside, or drink Pimms, or just go into town and watch the Sunshine Sheilas. But instead I was thinking of laundry.

But sunny days are as nothing when compared to snow for pointing out how old you’ve got.

In the Swansea/Neath area snow is fairly rare, we get it probably every other winter and usually in minor flurries for a day or two before normal service (i.e. rain) is resumed.

As a kid snow is amazing. Not only does it bring forward tons of fun things to do- snowball fights, making snowmen, sledding, but it also suggested you might get a day off school.

A “snow day” was the best kind of day off- a complete surprise and filled with fun stuff to do. Not like staff training days which were signposted far in advance and could be used for dentist appointments or else just spent bored out of your mind watching daytime TV.

They were especially fun because it seemed like the gods had smiled on you because you’d fall asleep with everything as normal and wake up in a winter wonderland and hoping school was cancelled.

My sisters and I had to wait, my Mum would ring the school or other parents before a decision was made. This is a testament to the fact that either (a) my Mum was committed to our education and feared we’d fall behind or (b) had a gutsfull of us at the weekend and was determined to keep her five day break in tact.

Once when I was fairly small my big sis and I schlepped into school to discover that we were about 1/3 of those attending. I think they collapsed us into one class and we just did reading and had stories, my memory is hazy apart from the fact that there were so few of us and that years later I realized that one of my classmates who hadn’t made it in due to the weather actually lived round the corner from the school. Clearly his parents were more relaxed than ours.

Snow stayed fun for a while, and when I was at uni in Lampeter we had more snow, which was cool. University is kind of a no-man’s land between childhood and adulthood so we embraced the goofing around in the snow part and actually had a few lectures cancelled.

But now, as a (allegedly) proper grown up snow isn’t as much fun. It brings with it the fear of getting snowed out of work, a drag as I’d lose cash, or even worse getting snowed IN at work.

It meant important plans have been postponed and worrying about people I know who have to travel in this weather.

And I didn’t run out to play in it, I just curled up under my blanket, made a cup of tea and finished reading my book.

The only plus point is smugly laughing at panic buyers on the news and waiting for the inevitable funny videos on YouTube.

And marveling at how much free time people have to make cool snow sculptures:


Or downright juvenile ones:


Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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