Thursday, February 05, 2009
To those who have kindly asked where I am, I am pleased to report that I am not stuck, neck deep in a drift of snow.
In fact, the deepest I have been this week is probably half an inch in Newcastle on Monday morning. Here on my wee stretch of the coast, we have so far been denied the white stuff that has enveloped much of the country.
I felt slightly cheated. I set my alarm half an hour earlier on Monday morning and swaddled myself in myriad layers for work, topped off with my great aunt's long, very thick (and very real looking) fake fur coat. "You want to hope the sun doesn't come out," said the man in the garage as I paid for fuel. "That looks as warm as a duvet!"
The snow began to whirl and hurl itself at the windscreen as I drove south towards Newcastle. The fields along the A1 were swathed in white. But by afternoon, the road was totally clear and I arrived home to find our familiar mud brown scenery had not received its own sprinkle of snowy fairy dust.
I felt slightly resentful at missing the joy of purified winter fields, the all-pervading mud glossed over and sparkling back at a china blue sky; I was jealous of those who enjoyed a guilty snow holiday from work and I missed out on the opportunity to take dozens of pictures of the Grey Mare looking like a Christmas card horse.
Having not experienced the worst snow for 18 years as the London-centric TV news never seemed to tire of telling us, I began to find the weather slightly tedious. As the week wore on, I started to consider it slightly ridiculous that the country ground to a halt because of a few inches of the white stuff.
But then I heard about a teenage girl killed while sledging with friends and walkers who died in the Cumbrian snow. Now I don't feel cheated; I just feel grateful.