I Smell Snow

February 27, 2018 by Ray Morgan

"Have you seen the forecast?" people are frantically saying. Pull to refresh that weather app, HOW much precipitation? When? Wellies are coming out of retirement, two by two. Yes, dear readers, snow is on the way.

I love snow. I know, I know, it's messy and puts things to a stop, and it all-too-quickly turns from Brambly Hedge and Kendal Mint Cake magic to slippery dirty slush, but I can't help it. I have an affinity with Lorelai "I smell snow" Gilmore and I'm proud of it. I love the way it's so quiet. It makes everything look pretty. It glitters - how much in our grey little British lives actually glitters? I love how it falls: well, not so much falling as fluttering, skittering sideways and upwards in slow mo like in all the cheesy bits in Richard Curtis movies. 

I've always joked that I must have been Danish in a past life, based on my love for snow, gender equality and Sarah Lund. My parents have just done that DNA ancestry test thing and guess what? 14% Scandinavian! It explains a lot.

This morning as I walked to work however, the sky was an absurd springtime blue. Its deep hue said to me: maybe the weather forecast got it wrong? Sure, it's cold, but this sky? It didn't have that look, you know the look - when the low sky is a puffy mix of grey-white-yellow, and you can tell there are handfuls of snow in each inch, and the clouds have a kind of heaviness to them. No, there was none of that, none of that quiet, strange light - the blue sky lulled me into a false sense of security.

I walked to work, chipper, cheeks rosy, cup of tea in hand. I walked along the seafront. The sun glinted off gasometers in Kent. Crows and seagulls competed for attention against the sky. It was a peach of a morning. Then I turned round. Behind me, all was dark. What I can only describe as a "sea fret" (if you've read Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, you get me) was rolling in from Southend way. The blue sky was being eaten up Pacman-style by - yes, that quiet, strange light, the puffy mix of grey-white-yellow. It moved with alarming speed. I suddenly had snow pelting my back, but blue sky ahead of me. I felt right on the cusp.

Within seconds my coat was flecked with diamante snow, the flakes settling on my eyelashes just like in the song. I passed two friends. One shouted "Are you ready for Snowmageddon?" "YEAH!" I shouted back. I literally am so ready. Two scarves, two pairs of socks, super-cosy M&S boots, and a whole camera roll of samesy snow pics yet to take.

Weirdly, it halted soon after. The snow fleckled the pavements and rooftops but stopped falling. I had the sun on my back, my shadow grew in front of me again. It was momentary, a flash of spring; then everything went dark, and white. It started BELTING down. I got into work. We all sat with eyes on the window, people saying "Is it settling? Is it settling?"

Snow is here. Wrap up, keep safe, make sure your elderly neighbour has the heating on. See you on the other side.

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