Today I was quite literally the only person in my office - the downside of being walking distance from work means that apparently I have a Duty to be there, which is fair enough although not nearly as interesting as the Duty To Roll Around The Garden taking pictures of startled cats and preventing my son from Eating Snow.
Matei and snow began on the wrong foot by him falling face first into it, but relations have improved since then and we spent a happy hour today playing outside once I had slogged back home.
Snow is like a puppy. Beautiful, exciting, playful, although an irritant and an annoyance in the long term. However, English snow is like The Perfect Puppy becuase it doesn't last long enough for people to get fed up with it. Essentially you get to play with it for a few days and then pouf! it's gone and you can start wearing high heeled shoes again. (Unless of course you hate puppies, in which case I cannot help you because you have no soul).
Here, snow is pretty much just Fun Rain.Schools shut, transport stops, people don't go to work, cats look confused; there is a general air of hedonism and celebration.
That's the brilliant thing about snow - it makes every city in the world beautiful. On my walk to work this morning all the forecourts of council estates were full of laughing children, and the youths who normally amuse themselves by looking menacing on street corners were pelting each other with snowballs instead.
Although my Meditations on Winter Idyll were rudely interrupted (twice) by me slipping and falling with a thud on my ass I still resolutely believe that Snow Is Terrific and if there was more of it in the months between Novemeber and February I would spend less time grumbling.
I love how silent True Winter is. There is something holy about waking up to a re-decorated world with its snowdrifts and blue refracting light, and the silence which in London is made more profound by the fact that there were no buses at all running today. On the walk to work the sky was a watercolour - all muted blues and greys and sweeps of clean light. And even though I was going to work while quite literally every other member of my household was at that moment snuggled up in bed, I didn't really mind since I was too occupied with the glittery shine of everything and this urge to dance and laugh because you are at that moment witnessing a thing of profound beauty in the world. First thing in the morning, every snowed-on city looks pristine, newly-made and radiant and it takes all the sense I have to prevent myself from throwing myself down and making a snow angel right there.
Because that's my second favourite thing about winter. Wrapping up in something warm and waterproof and lying down in the drifts, watching snowflakes falling like rain, like stars, catching them on my tongue, feeling my whole being transforming into a giant squee and thinking that as long as there are waterproofs this will never get old.