It wouldn’t be British if I didn’t mention the snow, now would it?
I have to mention it, mainly because unlike all the other days this week when it’s been a hint of a threat, of a cough of a splutter, we have actually had some. The children were totally impressed that the weathermen were actually right. The wrongness of weathermen is one of their perennial gripes, and proves their right to be citizens on British soil like nothing else. Their interest in the weather, and indignation at its vagaries are wound deeply into their DNA.
It was all rather civilised this morning. There was a light smattering of snow on the verges, but the roads were alright, and there was only a little, teeny weeny bit of snow in the wind, but nothing major, which was good, as I had a meeting in Leicester with a lovely lady to talk about her coming to school and helping the entire school write a book in celebration of our new library, which will hopefully be built by September.
I am a nervous driver, as you know, if you count clinging to the steering wheel with whitened knuckles as nervous, and I was tempted to cancel the meeting. But then I thought of all the Danes and Swedes and other murder solving, jumper wearing nations, who gaily gambol around in three feet of snow with a devil may care attitude. I said to myself: ‘What would Sarah Lund do?’
After I had finished running around in a darkened cupboard with no mobile phone and no gun of any use within a reachable radius I decided to man up and drive forth to my meeting.
It went well, and I felt civilised. Helping in schools you don’t often get to go to meetings in coffee shops, something I spent an enormous amount of my life doing when I worked in marketing, and to be fair, the only bit of my life as a marketer that I actually miss. I much, much, much prefer working in school. I’d go so far as to say that I love it, and I’ve never had a ‘job’ that I loved before, but if they could build a small version of Central Perk in the playground for my own personal use, it would really make my life complete.
Just sayin’ in case the builders have a few bricks left over.
On the way back to school, as I got further out of the city, the weather, and the roads got hairier and hairier and I crept along like an arthritic snail, hunched over the steering wheel Mr. Magoo stylie.
Even the main roads were starting to get bad by the time I got near to school, and the roads on the estate where the school is were as slithery as hell and the snow was coming down fast. I had just, very gingerly, parked up, when I got a message that Tilly’s school, in the next town, had shut.
It made my mind up for me. I went into school, made my apologies, grabbed Oscar and Tallulah and set off. My dad picked up Tilly for me so she didn’t have to wait around in the snow, and I scooped her up from mum and dad’s house and set off home.
We live quite a way from the school, and the snow was coming in from the direction I live in, so I was glad I set off when I did. As it was, my usual twenty minute journey took forty five minutes. Thankfully everyone else on my side of the road was as cautious as me and people were keeping their distance, which was a relief. I did see some total knob in a 4×4 creeping up into someone’s boot coming the other way and thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t having to deal with that as well as everything else.
The main ring road round our village was surprisingly snow free, but the road into our estate, which is on a small hill, was not, and my little car did rather groan and hiccup its way up. I think if I had left it much longer I’d have wimped out, abandoned the car at the bottom, walked, and sent Jason to go and fetch it for me. Luckily I made it home with my dignity intact.
Jason was already at home. He works in Nottingham, and the general rule of thumb is that whatever weather we have here, they will have it worse there, so he worked from home today, not fancying getting stuck there. I was very grateful to have all my lovelies safe, and the heating actually working.
The children got kitted out and immediately hurled themselves into the snow. They made a small, hand held snowman called Norbert. Tilly bought him over to show me so that I could photograph him, but his head fell off on the way, so she ate it!
They had just all come dripping in to change when their friend from down the road came with her sledge to see if they wanted to take it into the fields at the back of our house.
This caused chaos as they bundled themselves back into warm clothes and looked for gloves and scarves that weren’t dripping wet. They ended up wearing a random assortment of mittens and gloves, none matching, and Tallulah, who was last to get ready only inherited one mitten and had to make her pair with a sock!
Oscar was crying with cold when they eventually showed up on the front door, bedraggled and with snow in the hood of their coats. It gave me a total flashback to my own, small self, about thirty years earlier in much the same predicament. We would go in and out so much the whole house would be awash with dripping, steaming snow clothes and my poor mum would be going spare as we huddled in blankets and the wall paper started peeling from the walls.
So, we have had our snow day now. Honour has been satisfied. Winter has been ticked off our list. It can all go away now please.
I’m ready for spring.