“Do you want to build a snowman?” a young Anna sings plaintively to her older sister, Elsa, secure in the knowledge that this offer will be rejected as it always is.
I know this because Little Proclaims, my two-year-old daughter, is a fan of the hit Disney movie Frozen. Well, less a fan of the film so much as a fan of the songs from the film, which play endlessly Chez Proclaims, interrupted only by ditties from other modern Disney classics, such as Moana, Tangled and, of course, Frozen 2. In point of fact Little Proclaims would struggle to sit through the entirety of any of those movies. And I know this because the idea of her sitting in the same place for up to two hours instead of systematically destroying my home is something I find immensely appealing and therefore have tried in vain to persuade her to do. But she does like the music from the films and often sings along. Out of time and largely out of tune but with a level of enthusiasm that is quite infectious.
Anyway, if, instead of her sister, Anna had entreated anyone who lives in my neighbourhood to build a snowman, she would have been met with boundless enthusiasm.
For there are a lot of snowmen in the park near my house.
This is because it snowed today. And by today I mean yesterday, for that is when I am writing this.
Contrary to many a UK-based movie, it does not snow often in most parts of my homeland. It’s kind of a big deal when it does. Indeed when it does snow, the country can come to a standstill, with many services disrupted and schools often having to close.
Obviously in January 2021, that hasn’t happened, because the country was already at a standstill and schools are currently closed anyway. Also it’s Sunday. Because I’m writing this yesterday. Indeed, snow on a Sunday would normally result in a lot of children (and teachers) spending the day monitoring the weather in the hope that it will be sufficient to result in school closures on the following Monday. Snow tends to disappear as quickly as it appears in the UK so mostly those hopes would be met with crushing disappointment. But today (yesterday!) the kids of Britain (and the teachers) can run around in the snow without a care in the world, knowing that, whether the snow lasts or not, school is definitely cancelled tomorrow (today!). And given that some kind of online learning is inevitably going to be scheduled regardless of the weather, snow tomorrow (today!) is of little consequence either way.
Still, perhaps out of habit, I have been monitoring the weather reports, and I have noticed that the BBC has been reporting a ‘Yellow Warning Of Snow’. I presume that, in this case, ‘yellow’ refers to a mild to moderate scenario and is largely nothing to worry about. If it were a ‘Warning Of Yellow Snow’ I would certainly be inclined to take heed though.
As it happens I did have plans for today (yesterday!) because Sunday has tended to be the day I do my weekly shop. The weekly shop during times of pandemic is quite possibly the highlight of my week but, even though it would only have entailed a short drive, I decided that the roads looked treacherous enough to put that idea on ice. Instead I took Little Proclaims out to play in the snow.
And she loved it. After an hour or so the excitement did all get a bit much and there were some tears, but I pulled myself together because my daughter was still having a marvelous time. Indeed so were many of my neighbours. The local park was full of laughter and joy and it was very definitely not just children having fun. While snow always holds a certain amount of appeal to those of us who don’t see it very often, it was pretty clear that ‘having something a bit different to do’ was the tonic a lot of people needed in what has, thus far, been a pretty miserable January, which in itself followed on from a pretty miserable December and so on for as long as any of us can remember. Or more accurately since March.
And while the pandemic remains no laughing matter, it was nice today (yesterday!) to spend some time with my daughter enjoying a few ‘snow laughing’ matters.