An audio version of this post is available here.
- I love the smell before it arrives, like the taste of dead water in a glass: not stale water, but left until it is deoxygenated, that taste, flat and clean and dead, is how the air smells before the snow comes.
- I love that first second when you notice it’s snowing. And whatever your age, you have to go to the window to look for a bit. You have to make your wise pronouncements, even if only inside your own head, as to whether it looks as if it will settle. And whether the ground is cold and dry enough to permit this. The answer is almost always (with the first snow of the year) “No, it isn’t, and no, it won’t.” But you look up at the dark grey flakes against the pale sky, and then down to the pale flakes disappearing on contact with the vivid grass. And you say “well, maybe if it comes down hard enough …”
- I love the different kinds. Tiny dry snow on very cold days that makes drifts like sand that roll and scamper down themselves. Great fat Lego building blocks on warmer, wetter days that stick to one another and form satisfying overhangs (but will quickly flatten out and disappear). Horizontal, eyeliner destroying snow. Miserable, overweight, wet snow, falling straight down. The foofy stuff that doesn’t really fall down, it sort of meanders about and eventually settles for you in a way that does not feel entirely complimentary or committed.
- The sound of normal English snow when trodden upon: MONCH and CRUMP. And then, if you’re lucky and if you go slowly, each step gives under you in a little series of statements about your weight and foot size: MONCH… MONCH CRUMP … MOMP. The creak as you move your weight from one side of your foot to another.
- Being in woods in the snow, proper snow, heavy heavy snow, a long way from anyone else, in the kind of woods that has bears (but they’re asleep ha ha ha – who cares about the bears?). At night. On a clear night, when the moon is up, and the whole world is bright, as bright as day. You could read by it. That silence.
- All the people who turn into pink cheeked muppets when it snows. Yes. You are my sisters and brothers.
- Making things like this, alone in my back garden.
- I like the taste of it. It tastes like the flattest deadest glass of water anyone ever poured. Also it is very good for making cocktails with, providing all your other ingredients and the glass are at zero.
- Going for a walk in London at night when it’s snowing heavily and all the tawdry grey of the place is replaced by a glittering coat. And there isn’t anyone about. And if there suddenly is, they are very likely to smile at you because IT HAS SNOWED.