Snow, why does it have to be snow? I hate snow.

2013-01-19 11.16.03

There’s a bit in Raiders of the Lost Ark where our illustrious hero, Indiana Jones, peers down into the pit he’s about to enter. He spies a writhing mass of reptilian flesh before collapsing back, ashen faced. “Snakes, why does it have to be snakes?” That’s exactly how I feel about snow. The very sight of the stuff makes me feel bitterly cold to my core.

I explained my prejudices to Maisie, to which she responded “Yes Uncle Martin. Let’s go out and make snow babies!” So either she is already not listening to a word I say at the age of 3 or her aching, burning desire to have fun in the snow trumps my need to avoid frostbite. What exactly is a snow baby anyway? When I grew up, snow creatures only had one gender and they were always grown up.

She wouldn’t take no for an answer and before long we were playing in the snow. I started rolling a ball of snow in an attempt to make a snowman. The snow was far too powdery, and as soon as the ball reached any kind of respectable size, it collapsed in on itself. Maisie was not impressed. I tried to convince her of the inferior quality of the snow, but something in the look she gave me dispelled any notion that she might have believed me.

“Let’s go sledging” I said. In the absence of a purpose-built sledge, I reasoned that the lid of the recycling bin was roughly sledge shaped. Up the hill we trudged. When we got to the top, I gave Maisie a hearty shove. Her progress down the hill was much like that of a reluctant mule. The bin lid travelled slowly and stuttered to a stop with annoying regularity.

2013-01-19 14.45.02Drastic action was needed. A trip to the sledge shop was in order. The man at the shop mentally sized Maisie up before proposing a lime green plastic sledge with a lever on each side to control the brakes. Maisie’s face lit up. “My sledge has brakes!” In her mind, she already owned it. A short while later and we were back on the slopes.

This time, when we reached the top of the hill, a shove wasn’t needed. It was all we could do to hold the sledge in place. Once released, it flew down the hill like a rocket with Maisie squealing with delight. Did it soften my stance towards the cold stuff? No. But I might have secretly had a tiny bit of fun. Just don’t tell anyone.

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Freezing cold folklore

English: A tree branch completely en-globed in...

English: A tree branch completely en-globed in freezing rain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some reason, my internal thermostat is completely broken. I’m the one that is thinking about maybe removing my jacket if it gets any warmer whilst the people around me are dripping in sweat. As a result, I really suffer from feeling the cold, which in this country, at this time of year, is no fun. Luckily December this year has been lovely and mild, but as we head into January, as sure as ice is ice, things are going to get a lot colder before they get warmer.

For the past few years, this country has had a really hard winter. I know that there are people out there who look at our 12 inches of snow and laugh because they are used to much hardier weather, but for us, it’s a big deal. I hate snow, because just looking at the stuff makes me feel cold. People ask me if I’ve ever been skiing, but the thought of hurtling down a hill on two flimsy bits of fibreglass in the freezing cold is not my idea of a good time.

I don’t know what’s made me this way. Maybe it’s because of some of the things people told me about the cold when I was growing up. “You can’t go out wearing that or you’ll catch your death” or “you need to dry your hair before you go out or you’ll freeze to death”. Despite ignoring both these sage pieces of advice, I don’t remember any near death experiences.

“You need to wear a hat, because 90% of body heat escapes through your head.” Really? Why am I bothering with all these clothes then? I’d be better off going out in just a hat. Somehow, I don’t believe a word of it. Even if I do put a hat on, it doesn’t stop me from shivering – it just means my ears are warm.

When I used to come in from the cold, I’d take my shoes off and rest my feet up against the radiator. “You don’t want to be doing that – you’ll get chilblains”. “You will – you know! And you don’t want chilblains!” Again, despite these warnings, I have never had a chilblain and I don’t know anyone who has.

My favourite has to be “It’s too cold to snow”. Really? Where did all that snow and ice at the North and South Poles come from then? I’m glad I’m writing this sitting next to a radiator, because otherwise, my teeth would start chattering.