This is not a newly made decision. It has nothing to do with all those years I spent in South Africa. Well, maybe it does, because the reason I was happy to go there in the first place was so I could escape the snow in the winter of 1981. Does anyone remember how bad it was? And the winter of 78/79? Awful they were, with deep snow and villages cut off, notably ours in the west country.
But no, the real source of my discontent with all things white and wet goes back much much further than that. It was the dreaded winter of 1962/1963.
I wonder how many of my friends here remember that one? I know Heron Mel does because he mentioned it in his blog too, but how many others of you do? I remember it vividly. It made a huge impression on my seven year old self. I believe it was the longest of the extremely cold winters of the twentieth century and I think every day of it is imprinted in my psyche. Don’t laugh. It’s true! I have a vivid recollection of trudging through heaped up piles of dirty frozen snow as we picked our way to the shops and to school. I remember my father desperately scraping the car windscreen which promptly froze again before he’d even finished. I remember crying all the way home from school because my feet were so cold (everyone together now...awww). I hated it. I hated it so much I have done everything I can to avoid the cold ever since. I’ve even written a book set in that winter (my Skipper’s Child) and some readers have told me they can really feel the cold coming off the pages...haha. Experience, you see!
The funny thing is I project my hatred of it on everyone else too because I’m always worrying about friends and family being cold. My daughter teases me but, you see, I can’t imagine anything worse than feeling cold, so I don’t want anyone else to be either.
Well, you might ask what’s brought all this on? Why now? It’s this week’s snow of course. It’s not even Christmas yet! I’d got used to global warming. I was even enjoying it and now look what it’s done to me! This morning I had to travel to Rotterdam and it took me twice as long as usual. Why? Because of the snow! Why anyone should like the stuff, I don’t know. It’s not even pretty when sky and snow merge into each other and there’s no other colour to be seen but white with a few spots of black where the trees poke their branches through it. It reminds me of those black and white war films. You know the ones. They always seem to be set in Poland in winter where everyone is frozen and miserable. So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s made its point and it can go now.
Okay, I’ve got that out of my system, so I’ll shut up and smile again. But before I go, I’ll just post a couple of photos of when it started yesterday. Even snowy photos are better than no photos.
Dare I ask if you like it? Have a good week allemaal and keep warm!