Thursday, December 10, 2009

Theme Thursday : Snow



We have an ambivalent attitude towards snow in our household. A bit like Joni Mitchell and her clouds, we tend to view snow from both sides now - depending who is doing the viewing. At one extreme we have The Lad who has a love of snow that could rival Miss Smilla's. Ever since he was small he has welcomed the coming of snow with an excitement that was truly infectious. As he has grown older his obsession with all things wintry does not seem to have abated : a couple of days ago he was playing ice hokey for the University team and in a couple of days time he is off to France for a week's skiing.

I would probably come next on the snow loving scale. Whilst I admit that snow is cold, uncomfortable and disruptive, I have a great visual attraction to it. I love the way it coats things and transforms things, like nature's own highlighting pen. So when the snow falls there is nothing I like more than getting out with my camera and discovering what new insights are to be discovered. Who knows, the recycling bottle box may just be transformed into something you can hang on your wall.

Next on the snow approval scale comes Amy the dog who is often forced to accompany me on my wintry perambulations. She does not accompany me willingly as she is not particularly fond of snow. It disturbs her sense of scent, she tells me, and makes it difficult to chase squirrels. In addition, snow deposits tend to accumulate around her extremely furry paws and quickly build up with the veracity of a giant snowball being rolled down a hill. In the past it has occasionally got so bad that The Lad and I have had to carry her home as the weight of her snow-coated feet has been to great for her to lift.

But the prize for the great snow-hater in our household goes to the Good Lady Wife. She hates snow with a passion that borders on the fanatical. From November onwards she will each morning peep out of the curtained windows to see if her dreaded enemy has arrived. The cupboard next to the door is filled with an array of weapons to fight the beast : dozens of bottles of de-icer, boxes of scrapers, shovels, sheets, heavy-duty gloves and fur hats. It isn't as though we live above the snow-line - at most we might get a week or ten days of snow each year. It is simply that she hates it so much and - in a philosophy of mutual destruction borrowed from the Cold War - believes that a powerful arsenal keeps trouble at bay.

So there we are : finely balanced. We are a hung parliament in our attitude to snow with no floating voter in sight. But who knows, next year things might be different. My nieces' son might be coming to England to University and there is a good chance that he won't be too far away from us. Hopefully he will be able to spend some time with us next winter. He has spent his entire life living in the British Virgin Islands and, as far as I know, has never witnessed snow in his life. It will be interesting to see which side of the great divide he comes down on.



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32 comments:

  1. I remember snow as a child in Lancashire but it rarely snowed at Christmas and I so wanted it too. The greenkeeper at Romily Golf Course used to dread the Januar snow when we'd get out on the sloping 15th fairway and sled down to the creek/stream wrecking the sleeping bent grass below. Although I remember my father constantly hating driving in it, clearing the driveway etc. I bet it doesn't even snow there anymore. Take heart Alan, the closest we've come to snow is a summer hail storm that whitens the ground then steams in evapourative escape. And I think Amy is having you on my good man . . .it's her feet that don't like the snow. Her nose knows no bounds.k

    And she is arguably one of the cutest scruffy dogs I've ever seen. give her a wuffle for me, right aroung the ears, not too soft, that's it kind of scratchy and scruffly. Lily says g'day well she would but she's off chasing a fox.

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  2. ha. it sounds like you have great balance alan...i love snow as long as i can stay home and play...hate it if i have to go out...not that i mind driving in it, its all the looneys i worry about taking a turn too fast...happy tt alan. love the pic!

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  3. Great post...I'm with the Good Lady Wife - hate the snow, hate shoveling, want to move, can't move (yet!). It's pretty, but that's what pictures are for - like the recycled bottles with snow - very nice shot.

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  4. It sounds like the 'great divide' may be something that holds you together! A nice cold (beer)read, Alan!

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  5. "like nature's own highlighting pen" I like that.
    You have like snow where I live but I can appreciate your wife's viewpoint as come February here, I can get a little bit bitter.
    I once knew a lady that hated the mountains. I am still scratching my head over that one.
    I love your doggie!
    Great post.
    Happy tt.

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  6. I'm with you....love snow...and it's most enjoyed while in a cozy warm home looking out the window.

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  7. I adore snow, inside or out. That snow-on-the-bottles photo is brilliant, Alan. Well done, my friend!

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  8. Alan

    Well, the white stuff can make it a bit tricky driving around the lanes hereabouts, but I agree that it offers some fantastic opportunities to get out with the camera. If we don't get any substantial coverings this winter, I'll share some of the shots I took last year.

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  9. Haha! Gatsby my chihuahua would HATE snow. It's a good thing he doesn't have to deal with it. I wouldn't mind it every now and then but in Santa Monica- that ain't going to happen :)

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  10. I find the cold invigorating, though driving anywhere snowy is frightening. Love the photo, and give my best to Amy, GLW and the lad.

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  11. My feelings about winter are fairly close to the GLW's--of course, in our climate, we can have 10 days of temps in the teens or lower (Fahrenheit) with no snow at all. Fun post on the snow theme!

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  12. I would love to see snow in England in person. Happy TT
    As for me, I like snow from the inside looking out.

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  13. I snow, but I hate sludge, and I'm not too big on cold. Does that place me before or after the dog? ;)

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  14. I suppose you could say I'm in the middle. I love the way snow looks hanging in the trees, the way it transforms the drab gray of winter into this bright beautiful world. But I hate driving in snow. If I could stay home from work and hibernate every snowfall it'd be perfect. lol

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  15. Good post, Alan. I'm with the Good Lady Wife on this one. I loved snow when I was a kid, playing happy families in caves built in snowdrifts. But no more. All I see now is the danger of breaking a leg. Mind you, it does please the photograph hunters so maybe I'll get a few good shots before I'm much older.

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  16. First of all... Is that darling little thing YOUR dog, Alan? What a little teddybear.

    Secondly, I really love the way snow blankets everything such that all is so quiet. It's like a huge white muffler that just settles over everything. But...like Good Lady Wife, I have no desire to be out in it.

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  17. Interesting take! We seem to have a love of snow here that corresponds to our ages. The younger ones love it and want to be IN it, whist us a bit older like seeing it, but from the other side of the glass!

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  18. You are right, Amy doesn't look like she's any too happy that she's being drug a long. No, not any happier than the GLW sounds. Loved the photo of snow on the bottles. It is very artsy.

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  19. I'm definitely in the winter/snow loving camp here.....

    Oh, your sweet Amy is a beauty! I love that photo. I'd happily carry her through sleet and rain just to hug and cuddle with her. My Tara keeps me company by the fire.

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  20. Poor Amy! Hunter loved the snow and it was difficult to get him back in the house, at times. Your bottle snap reminded me of my stay in Halifax( Nova Scotia )Unfortunately our beer froze, when we had left it on the balcony to keep cold! Never mind all the snow that buried it :O

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  21. I thought the photo was bamboo stalks or some form of plant life. Recycling bin, ha!. I too have a great visual attraction to snow - but sure don't want to live in it...

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  22. I am sorry Amy dislikes snow...my Toby just discovered snow, as he is just 11 months, and seems to adore it; can't wait for a big snowfall, we'll see how he likes it then!

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  23. My daughter is leaving Friday for Germany. She is leaving from Los Angeles where we tend to think 65 degrees is reason for fur lined boots and a roaring fire to visit the likes of Berlin, Munich and Brussels. She has NO idea. She had her flip flops and a couple of hoodies out to pack thinking this would be more than warm enough. I laughed and suggested she seek warmer attire.

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  24. The dog looks like he's having fun in the snow! I like snow if I can be outside and enjoy it, but otherwise it's just a pain :)

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  25. You have quite the range in your family; with that spread you'd pretty much nullify any poll taken as to how much your family likes snow.

    And you never can tell how those tropical islanders will react to snow; after all, a bunch of lads from Jamaica got together an Olympic bobsled team!

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  26. I am a little bit in love with Amy! She's adorable.

    I am somewhere on that continuum when it comes to snow. It does have transformative power, and sometimes my little girl's excitement over it is quite infectious.

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  27. Snow is a love or dislike affair, it all depends on how much it enhances or disrupts ones life.

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  28. I think I'm kind of in the middle. If it's fresh snow and I can play in it, take pictures and have a snowball fight without getting scratched by ice, I'm happy. But I am with the GLW re: the de-icing, and get very quickly fed up with slush!
    I am sure that my sister will have her own opinion on snow today, living in Chicago...
    I'm with Baino on Amy - she's adorable.

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  29. Yes, that is indeed a picture of Amy. She has asked me to thank everyone for their kind comments and say that she would be more than willing to consider moving to other parts of the world where the sun shone more, the rain rained less and where chickens were bigger and juicier.

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  30. The Shame These Days Is We Get So Little Of The Stuff........I guess we would all agree that mucky slush is the pits?

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  31. Absolutely delightful post, Alan! It captivated me from start to finish.
    Your Good Lady Wife had best not come to visit us—we are fairly assaulted and battered by the stuff for months on end!
    I'm so pleased to hear that you pick Amy up and give her a lift home when her paws get snow-clogged. Our neighbour next door has inexplicably decided that December is the best time to shave his poodle down to the skin and doesn't even get him a coat! Grrrr!!!
    I expect your Virgin Island niece's son (what is the term for that relation, any way?) will find the snow a real novelty at first, but will pine for the temperate climes from which he hails.

    By the way, my own love of snow falls somewhere between your wife's and Miss Smilla's (leaning toward S's at the start of the season and in your wife's camp from January until April...or even May!)

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  32. Well that woudl be a schock for your great nephew indeed!

    Yes, that photo is like a work of art, especially at that size as I couldn't even tel they were bottles at first! It was just an intersting patterned piece to me. Good eye there.

    Glad you haven't lost your attraction to snow bu tI understand your wife having issues with it too.

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