It’s been snowing the whole day. Tireless clouds have kept on spewing out tiny flakes over London since Gerry left for work this morning (around seven thirty). The flakes might not look very big, but there have been lots of them and the ground is cold enough for them to stay put. The city kids and their parents have taken advantage of the situation and every time I’ve looked out the window another snowman has popped up on the green or in the yard outside the house.
I’ve stayed indoors for most of the day, hooked on a Swedish detective novel which wasn’t actually gripping enough to warrant a five-hour readathon. But I’m looking at it as research. When I finally made it out it was dark and quiet in a way London is never quiet. No wonder the snow has this silencer effect on the city since there is so much of it left, on the ground, on people’s cars, on the roads. Not even London traffic has managed to turn it into a wet sludge.
During my short walk to the Turkish corner shop (to buy feta and salad, exciting) I quickly regretted not going out sooner, not talking my laptop and sitting down in some café where I could have had soy hot chocolate and looked out at the ever increasing masses of snow. There were a few people out and about, slipping around on the pavements, huddling close together outside the bars, smoking with red fingertips. A man (a dad) was pulling his child along the pavement in a sledge. The child looked happy in that rosy cheeked, but completely drenched way you only get from playing in the snow. I remember it, the feeling of being soaked, warm and freezing at the same time, of snow that always managed to sneak into your socks or past the gloves and down your arms. Sometimes being a kid is great.
I sort of missed the first proper snow of the year. I didn’t make much of an event out of it, although at least I’m marking it with a blog post. But as I walked back home with my feta and my salad I stopped to look around and I felt so happy about it being winter, about the snow, about memories of building snowmen and the snow running down my arms and melting. Tomorrow it might all be gone, but at least London is enjoying it tonight.