Snow

Oxford has been white for a few days now. Not just a sprinkle of snow but proper snow like kids are supposed to enjoy and the rest of us are supposed to dream of for Xmas. For some strange reason the media don’t seem to have realised how good this is and keep going on about ‘bad weather’. The problem seems to be that, instead of appreciative dreamers, the kids have grown up into people who are so concerned about driving their cars and flying round the world that they are unable to adjust their silly plans a bit and enjoy the beauty and wonder that is proper snow.

Yes of course it’s a bit inconvenient if you’ve planned to fly to America or drive to Scotland or whatever. But that sort of plan is not so clever in the first place unless you are one of those fools who think global warming and peak fuel are fictions made up by the scientific community so they can rip you off and spoil your fun. Even if you are a ‘carry on regardless’ type plans dependent on driving and flying are obviously fragile at this time of year.

So just let it go and put your walking boots and warm coat on and get out there before it all turns to wet muck. If you’ve got kids then drag them away from the TV and find a slope and a sledge, there don’t seem to be many kids out there enjoying it, they’ll miss it when it’s gone, dress them up and take them to the park. Sit in front of the gas fire with a toddy and admire it out the window if you can’t be bothered. Whatever! But don’t go moaning it’s upset your holiday plans – look at the pictures on the front of those Xmas cards, that’s snow everywhere, not heaps of wet, filthy grit and endless, stationary traffic queues.

Snow at this time of year is traditional, if you’ve got so dependent on flying and driving you can’t change your plans and appreciate snow at Xmas then you are one sad case.

I rather doubt I’ll be getting my December 200km audax ride in, in fact I doubt I’ll get a 1okm ride in, but so what. I’ve set the turbo up in the garage and the boredom of half an hour riding it will just make cycling more enjoyable when it becomes safe again.

Running on slippery, lumpy, tarmac is a bit unnerving, particularly since the council has ploughed the snow off the road and heaped it up on the pavement, making their skewed priorities clear in the process. But out there in the snowy woods it’s magic, hard work and slow even in studded shoes, but it’s great and I suspect they’ll only be a few days more before snow becomes ice and the chance is missed so I’ll be running up Shotover again tomorrow.

Some birds seem to be struggling to find food so we are putting out lots of stuff for them (though I’m still not sure buying scones for the sole purpose of feeding starlings is strictly necessary). Other animals are also finding it hard so we don’t turn them away. Our cat Lala isn’t finding it at all hard as we are about, the gas fire is on, and she doesn’t go out when it’s not sunny and warm anyway.

There are no doubt humans suffering genuine hardship as well. The inadequately housed, people who’s plumbing has frozen, those suffering power outages when the lines collapse under the weight of snow. Those who can’t afford suitable clothing or can’t afford to pay for fuel to keep warm.

Now there’s a thought – how about leaving the car at home and giving all that fuel money you saved to someone who genuinely needs it to keep warm – no chance you tell me, got to get to Heathrow and sleep on the floor for 36 hours. Some people have weird priorities!

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