I miss winter. This year the Scottish ski-ing industry is actually in business again but it still doesn’t feel like proper winter weather. There are geraniums in bloom alongside snowdrops in my back garden and frogs pop their heads out of our little pond every other day as temperatures slip up and down the thermometer like a roller-coaster. If wildlife is confused I think climate change messes with the human psyche too. So I long for snow in its proper place.
Maybe that’s perverse of me. I don’t like feeling cold, I hate scraping ice off the windscreen on frosty mornings, I dread driving through snowstorms on icy roads and waiting for news of others out in the storm. When Dougal and Anny had their nightmare drive through blizzards to join us after new year I was very grateful to Anny for sending us hourly texts to tell us they were still alive, and even more grateful that she didn’t mention the times when they left the road in a white out.
But next day we were out playing in the stuff making a snowman complete with carrot for a nose, coal for eyes and buttons and a flower pot hat. Real winter but just for one day. Next morning the snow turned to rain and washed the snowman away. Unnervingly mild weather goes with wind and rain which makes it impossible to get winter jobs done outside.
So I treasure those rare crisp, cold days and when we had another dusting of snow at Pond Cottage last week I walked round like a child seeing it all for the first time: crunching on leaves frosted to the ground, laughing at the way a dusting of white stuff turns seedheads into glittering explosions of ice, but with a little gnawing fear and sadness at the back of my mind that the next generation might not know what it’s like to play in the snow.
Alas poor Sno Bizz, a short life but a happy one