They are suggesting there may be a white Christmas here. There seldom is and I am a bit ambivalent on the subject. There is I suppose something a little magical about the idea of a white Christmas but there is nothing magical or even vaguely desirable about the kind of ice-water that passes for snow here in the UK.

I remember being in Annecy when it snowed one Easter (I was 16). We tried to have a snowball fight — but you couldn’t. The snow was too powdery dry. And the air though crisp didn’t have that misery of dampness that accompanies snow here and makes it stick to your very soul!

And let’s face it — we are never prepared here! Side roads, like ours, don’t get cleared. People  do not ‘pull together’. Deliveries from supermarkets fail when you need them most. The retail world goes into a flat spin and so do cars when the nice fresh snow turns to white ice, black ice, compacted ice and compound fractures.

Last time we had a white Christmas I ended up writing this in January!

Sonnet on ice

I became intimate with ice today.

I lay on the path in the aftermath
of shock, counting my lucky stars nothing
was broken. My glittering companion
a cold block beneath my head, a pillow
of pain and panic; part of the nightmare.

Unknown faces stared down. Their hands reached out
picked up my hat and me, my bag and purse;
played nanny to my first quavering steps,
brushed off the grit and nurse-maided my fears,
tears witnessed by strangers whose faces I

cannot recall. But they’ll remember me.
Oh yes! And when they see me in the street
they’ll say, ‘There’s that woman who took the fall.’


White Christmas? Thanks but — no thanks. I’ll make my own crazy ambience!