Friday, March 02, 2018

Snow days

Sledging: traditional British winter activity
It's day three in the ice bound house. The snow started on Tuesday and schools across Essex, and the country, were closed the following morning. It's been like that since then. There have been the usual moans that we're a country that falls apart at the first sign of a bit of snow, and why can't we be more like Switzerland/Norway/Germany... anywhere but here.
To be fair to the school first of all, this is the first time in more than six years that bad weather has closed it. I'm sure things will be back to normal on Monday - we're expecting a bit of a thaw from tomorrow. Then this little break will be filed under cultural enrichment.
So, what have we been up to?

What we've done

Tattie soup: with sprouts
  • Went sledging, obviously. That's twice in one winter my £10 purchase has been used - more than we've managed in the past five years, and we're heading out again today I hope.
  • Made cakes and biscuits.
  • Composed a space opera. Number one son took the opportunity to work out a rather dystopian sounding piece on his keyboard. The weather made it seem even more ominous.
  • Made potato heads for World Book Day. Sadly these haven't been taken to school - don't know if Harry Potato-er and Dumbledore will make it through the weekend.
  • Fed the birds.
  • Made soup.
  • Cleared snow from my the neighbour's steps (polishing my halo as we speak).
  • Rearranged the office slightly - CDs now in the next room.
  • Read books.
  • Worried about global warming, but less about Trump.
  • Got new cyclocross wheels on my new (to me) cross bike.

Snow tree: actually from earlier in 2018
What we haven't done

  • Ridden our bikes.
  • Panic bought anything.
  • Made a snow man - it's the wrong kind of snow. Too powdery.
  • Seen many people.
  • Driven the car?
  • Thought as much about Brexit.
  • I haven't done much work, as I haven't had any, so I should probably add 'Worried about lack of work' to the first list.
  • Been proactive.

What we could have done

  • Been proactive.
  • More craft activities.
  • Played board games - not sure why we haven't done more of this. The kids have actually been very good at entertaining themselves (that's my get out clause anyway). Their games tend to be mind-bogglingly complex, especially if the eldest is in charge (i.e. all the time), and being a bear of little brain, it's probably best that I excuse myself.
  • The 1,000-piece Minion jigsaw puzzle that the younger one won in a story writing competition last year (I'll just drop that humblebrag in there as a bit of catch up on what's been happening of late).
  • Demanded that school reopens, or started up some home schooling activities :)
  • We could have been out more. I gladly cleared the neighbour's steps yesterday as I was getting cabin fever.

Winterval: Abbey Fields Colchester
What have we learned

  • Snow days pass very slowly.
  • Being freelancers, we're lucky we didn't have to go anywhere.
  • After initial mad forays into the snow, the kids are quite apathetic about it. Yesterday they didn't get out of their pyjamas.
  • Not all snow is equal. The powdery stuff won't even hold a snowball. It is very beautiful however.
  • That it doesn't really matter. This little three-day event will soon be a memory - hopefully a pleasant one.
  • Local Budgens doesn't sell logs beyond about late February. We could have done with some of late - there's nothing like a real fire when it's cold outside.
  • The house is a lot warmer than the first couple of winters we were in here, thanks to better insulation. Back then we were wearing hats in bed and waking up with cold noses.
Are we really rubbish at doing winter? Were we better at it in the past? I don't know really. Generally we have better cars, better clothing and better communications. People are by and large kind and help each other out at times like this. We sort of know what we should do, although we don't always do it - much like life generally. 
It's starting to melt.

Tracks: cat I think