The Great Christmas Debate

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Did someone say snow?

Yesterday, everyone was saying snow but no one was actually seeing any. I suspected these rumours were based on a dozen lazy flakes that got lost on their way to Norway, or forgot the UK doesn’t get snow at Christmas. How excited everyone becomes if you even whisper the ‘S’ word after the 1st December.

What fun then to wake this morning to some almost proper snow; not quite drifts, but a sensible dusting. Although according to Galaxy FM it’s at least 6 inches (not a euphemism). There is always that moment on the cusp waking when everything sounds muffled outside and you just know it has snowed. Perfectly iced rooftops and a set of footprints down the middle of the road are a tantalising reminder that it really is winter and only one week until Christmas Day. I for one feel a little disappointed – what do I do with all my spray snow? (That’s a joke; I’m a total snob and wouldn’t even allow a can across my front doorstep).

Excitement aside, there seems to be a Southern Snow Syndrome that causes everything to come to a standstill after even the most pitiful of snowstorms. Schools closed, motorways blocked, and people unable to leave their houses because of major disruptions to the entire urban network. (The unpredictability of Global Warming isn’t going to help). People in the north don’t have this problem – it’s a question of attitude. How irritating it is when you dutifully turn up for a 3pm meeting with your lecturer, trudging through the dark and sludge and bitter wind, to find he has been ‘snowed in’ at home and can’t make it to work today. What’s more annoying is when you know for a fact he lives on the same road as your sister, who has managed to drive to work, and is probably slouched by a cosy fire having just eaten one too many mince pies. We need more snow just so we learn how to cope with it down here.

Having lived my whole life along the South Coast I still find it novel and childishly exciting when there is a proper, as in ‘I could make a snowman’, layer of snow. The day’s plans go out the window as everyone bundles outside for snowballs, snowmen and all the usual snow-related activities. The most fun being the one where you lure your 9-year-old brother or 27-year-old sister, whichever is the most gullible, under a tree and then shake all the snow over them. Works every time.

Although this morning’s snow has now almost melted in Southampton, revision for the day has been ruined as I spent the morning making snowballs for my housemate who has never seen snow before. I feel privileged to be the first person to throw some in his face. Here’s hoping for some more!

Happy Christmas,

Polly Bennett

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