It’s not unheard of to have the odd flurry as early as november, but its pretty unusual to get so much and for it to stay so long, and we’re not taking about on the tops of the hills of the cheviots or the lake district here, were talking all over the North East.
In fact its been so early this year, that the snow is falling alongside the autumn leaves, creating strange pools of colour, in an otherwise entirely white landscape of snow.
When I got up at just after 5am there’d been about 15cm of fresh snow. On the one hand this meant i was in for a fun weekend, but on the other it meant getting Lucinda to work for 7am was going to pose a problem. Luckily we’d parked on the main road, so at least i didn’t have to get out of the street, but we still had to get off the estate. The very idea of driving in this was giving me a knot in my stomach as i went to dig the car out, but then a snow plow appeared out of nowhere and cleared the road, i can’t describe the relieve that brought. I dropped Lucinda at work 1/2 an hour later and I headed for Asda to get the shopping in before going around to visit my brother.
I’m truly fortunate to have such a great family so close by, my brother and his family moved back from London earlier this year, and live just down the street from my dad, 10 minutes drive from my house. Chris has twins, Thomas and Hannah who’ll be three in January. When i arrived at their house, Hannah and Thomas were running around the house and wasted no time telling me that everything was covered in snow, although they called in snowman. After breakfast we headed out in the snow to see my dad. They were so excited. Thomas kept pointing at the snow saying ‘clean’, while hannah pointed at the sky and made fluttering motions with her hands like falling snow, and we all kicked snow into the sky as we walked. I couldn’t wait until they were old enough to take sledging.
With last nights snow we had about 20cm of the most fantastic powdery snow, turning the hills around my house into my very own adventure play ground. I finally had a chance to have a proper play on the snowboard i bought about 6 years ago. I’d taken a couple of lessons at the local dry ski slope when i bought it, but its sat in the garage pretty much untouched ever since due to a lack of snow, other than for the couple of days in january when we had a bit of snow.
The mix of perfect snow and gentle slopes were just right for a novice snow boarder like me to practice the subtle art of carving, and with only a couple of bemused looking horse watching me from the corner of the field, i had the slopes entirely to myself for the afternoon.
After an afternoon playing on my snowboard, it was time for a quick snack and a change of clothes for an evenings running in the snow. I left the house at around 4 o’clock just as the sun started sink behind the horizon, the sky turning sumptuous shades of golds and oranges then pinks and purples as the sun went down. Running on the soft, fresh snow was a wonderful experience, my feet gliding smoothly and effortlessly over mile after mile on the white carpet of snow that stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction. By now the sun had long since vanished and the moon was behind the clouds, so by rights it should have been entirely black, but the millions of flakes of snow magically reflected every spec of start light making it bright enough to run without head torches or lights of any kind. Running through the woods was even more magical again, the branch still covered in leaves blocked out much of the light, but where the light did poke through the canopy, and hit the snow covered braches it glistened like thousands fire flies above my head. Before i knew it i was minutes from home, having ran nearly 13 fabulous miles, i felt like i could have kept on running through the night, but i had to pick Lucinda up from work.
I’d had an awesome day, playing in the snow and round it off by making a delicious Kerala style Chicken Curry. Since returning from India and having seen how the people there cooked the most marvelous meals in the most basic kitchen’s, i’ve bought a cookbook on curries and renewed my love of the cooking making a diferent curry every week. [Side note - i consider cooking to be quite different to baking, baking is an art that requires a patience i simply don't have].
I thought the day could simply get no better, until i turned on the laptop and found that my friend Henda, whom i’d met in India had published another blog post. Henda has the most beautiful way with words, and her posts are always a joy to read, but this one in particular was very apt. Much of her post talked about the wonders of nature, and how and experiencing these special moments and exploring the world around is the most precious gift we can receive, and after a weekend playing in the snow that was exactly how i was feeling.
Sounds like a great day.
What do you mean three-year-olds aren’t old enough to sledging?!