It snowed this week where I live. It didn’t settle. Lots of people expressed disappointment about this. Many people hold this romanticised view, upheld by many Christmas songs and films… I kind of like snow myself, but I am aware of the disruption it can cause on the roads, etc, and this makes me a bit ambiguous about it. I was reminded of this a couple of years ago when trying to visit my Grandmother in the far north of Cumbria. Two routes we tried were impassable, and it was touch and go whether the third route would be accessible, but fortunately we made it in the end. The locals had snow shovels and wellies in the boots of their cars as standard.
My Grandmother had a healthy respect for the danger of snow. There was a really bad winter during the war when the farm they lived in was unreachable by road. They burned antique furniture to keep warm, and the only supplies they got were delivered by rail, and were literally thrown from the train on the Pennine route, about two miles walk away.
As a child, I used to spend a lot of time on their farm. Some of my happiest childhood memories are located there. I used to ‘help’ at hay-making time, and had my own hay-fork, shortened for my use. But whilst I remember this as idyllic, my Grandmother remembered this as being very hard, back-breaking work, which it was, if you were an adult.
It is incredible how different events/circumstances are idyllic or terrible, depending on your circumstances or situation at the time. I know I need to remember this when I talk to people. One (wo)man’s meat is another (wo)man’s poison…