It is snowing.
It is December 5th, which happens to be a good and worthy anniversary for me, although I don’t plan to discuss it here; simply congratulate me and move on. Thanks.
It is December 5th and it is snowing in the UK. This is not normal. It doesn’t snow all that regularly in Britain, and when it does, it’s generally in the first couple of months of the year, and almost never in the last couple of months. I remember it snowing on my sister’s birthday in May, once; I believe it was 1979.
One thing’s for sure, though, I’ve never seen so many people all talking about the same thing. I bet, if I put snow into ‘trending topics’ on Twitter, the system would fall apart. When I checked FaceBook this morning, no one was talking about anything else. The Duchess of Cambridge is newly with child, at Christmas, no less, and all anyone wants to talk about is the white stuff falling all around us.
What is it about the British and weather?
Pick up any novel by a British writer, go on, I dare you, and it doesn’t matter who it’s by, whether they’re young or old, man or woman, or what genre they write in, and I’ll put even money on weather being mentioned somewhere in the first chapter. I’ll give you decent odds on the first chapter opening with the weather!
I don’t know whether it’s because we’re an island nation with continental Europe on one side of us and the Atlantic on the other, making for interesting, but mostly predictable weather, or whether it’s because we’re a longstanding maritime nation with adventurous tendencies, and so the weather is critical to the pursuit of our naval ambitions. I don’t know whether it’s because we inhabit a garden nation packed full of people where we’ve mostly, traditionally grown our own.
I have no idea what makes the national psyche so weather-obsessed. I don’t know why that seems to go hand-in-hand with being utterly useless when it comes to coping with an inch of snow, either. Perhaps it’s because snow has no effect at sea, and that’s where we’re most at home.
Either way, it looks as if, for today, at least, we’re stuck with it. The snow, as pretty as it is, is falling, thick and fast, and it is laying.
So, I guess we’ll be doing what sailors have done for... well, a very long time; I guess we’ll be battening down the hatches.
I am among the lucky ones. I don’t have any need to be anywhere but here, so I shall light the fire in my drawing room and settle down to finish writing this novel, and I shall live off whatever food is in the house.
I wish you luck if you do have to be somewhere, and you do have to brave the snow. I do hope it doesn’t treat you too horribly badly.
Now, can we please talk about something... anything else?