Monday, 21 January 2013

A Touch of Snow

Judging by Facebook, newspapers and the BBC website nothing like a touch of snow to bring the amateur photographer out in us snapping the winter wonderlands.  Just a pity that these wintry scenes which always look so enchanting and innocent create such chaos for travelling.  Anyway I thought I would venture out and have a go myself while the snow is still fresh. 

However, all this snow plus the recent research for my coming exhibition Roots has got me reminiscing about how I remember snow from when I was a child. Although snow and bad weather seem now to be becoming the norm, owing to a series of mild winters Darling Daughter didn't really experience snow till she was almost five years old. For me a heavy fall of snow was a regular occurence in my childhood and I would often wake to find several inches of snow and then have to endure the dreaded black wellies to get to school. They were hideously unfashionable, cold and uncomfortable and no matter how careful I was, snow always crept over the tops to soak into my socks and then I would have to sit in class with cold wet feet.  Something I couldn't make my mum understand when she was forcing me to wear the damn things. 

Rememember this was before the prissy Cath Kidston/Boden spotty, flowery, jazzy wellies of today and before festival goers made them so de rigueur  If only these had been around in my day.  

As a child I lived at the top of a very big hill and when it snowed we were more or less marooned up there. The milkman had to leave his float at the bottom of the hill and drag the milk up on a sledge. Likewise  residents abandoned their cars at the bottom too unless they were feeling particularly brave but would invariably get stuck, whereupon all the men-folk would dash out of their houses like the cavalry to give the poor chancer a push or put sacks under his tyres to get him moving.  Neighbours were a lot more neighbourly then I have to say.  It was a great hill for sledging though, spoilt only by the grumpy neighbours who would come out to tell us off and then clear away the snow on their bit of path with a shovel and then worse put grit down from the grit bin.   

When it snowed the schools were alway kept open, none of this shutting of schools business because there is an inch of snow. I can remember only one instance when my school had to shut during bad weather and that was because of a burst pipe.  But going to school when it snowed was just the best time. We happily spent our playtimes building snowmen and throwing snowballs but best of all would be the slides of  sheet ice we made which ran the full length of the playground and were absolutely lethal, worthy of any luges or bobsleigh.  The kids of today miss out so much in these days of Health & Safety pussying about. At DD's school they are not allowed out during break in case they slip over and hurt themselves and snowballing and slides are  absolutely verboten  with the headteacher heading up the snowball police on arrival and going home time, particularly since one pupil scored a bulls-eye smack on the back of his head.

I felt I just had to include this in my winter snow-shoot.  Spotted on my neighbour's washing line - this frozen tea-towel that's been out there for over a week!!  It looks so incongruous - a bright flash of red against the winter landscape.  I shouldn't let these little things irritate me so much and it's really none of my business but I can't help but ask the question why?! 

 Last word to Buttercup who just adores hopping around in the snow.

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