Back to life.....

March 7, 2018 by Ray Morgan

Back to reality. The great thaw has happened. Our timelines are no longer a scrolling live-feed of snowmen, Waitrose shopping bags being pulled home on sledges (I see you), and frosty estuary scenes.

The past fortnight has been a confusing one for me. Two weeks ago I wrote a blog fizzing about the onset of spring, the next thing I knew, I was crunching to work in DMs wearing leggings under my jeans, five tops on under my coat, and my "bringing out the big guns" super-toasty Estonian hand-knitted scarf around my face. Boy, it was snowy wasn't it? It felt like the snow of my childhood in the 80s: snow weighing down bushes so they were bulbous and white, and real, deep footprints across the garden in the mornings, showing up all the night visitors who usually go unseen.

Lots of places closed. The ones that stayed open looked like warm, golden havens in the cold. My office remained open and we watched the sky (and Met Office website) like hawks while our hats and gloves dried on the radiators. My usual 20 minute walk became 45, 50 minutes of stomping on snow, leg muscles aching from what felt like walking on the moon. Hot coffee and cups of tea took on new meaning. Going outside was a gargantuan effort. Ice rain became a thing.

Friday night, I got home and Jo's footprints in the front garden from when she'd arrived home earlier had already been filled in by a swathe of fresh snow. I dropped tomato soup and daffs to my elderly neighbour, and looked up at the mean, cold sky before settling in for the night. It was a great surprise to wake up on Saturday morning and hear great sheets of frozen snow sliding off the roof like the log flumes at Adventure Island. There was a steady drip, drip, drip from every gutter.

There's something otherworldy about when it snows. It fills conversations. It determines plans. It casts a strange yellow light. Everything is oddly quiet. Things grind to a halt. Don't get me wrong, I love snow, and taking pics of the snow, and walking in the snow (14% Scandinavian, remember?), but there's something not-quite-right about being at the mercy of weather. We're not used to it here. I fretted about my family driving home from a break away on frightening roads. I worried endlessly that my next door neighbour would attempt to go out in it, and slip over. Handfuls of friends and family had broken down boilers.

When the last snow melted and rain took its place, and all the spring bulbs that had dared to show themselves a week earlier were in view, and confident again, it seemed like the universe was saying: come on now. You've had your fun. You've uploaded Boomerang snowball fights to your Instagram stories. You've made your snow angels. You've used the hashtag #beastfromtheeast at least five times. The party's over. Spring is coming; look, see, the sun is here today. You can make plans again. Back to life. Back to reality.

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