An acquaintance of mine once got a job in a chocolate factory. She told me they tell you you can eat as much as you like. If you sit there in front of the conveyor belt checking that everything's the right shape or whatever it is you're supposed to do and you get the urge, go for it. Help yourself. By the end of your first week, so the reasoning goes, you'll never want to look at a square of the brown stuff again.
I'm beginning to feel that way about snow. At one time, if I opened the curtains to find that the world outside had turned white, and that all the things I'm used to seeing out there had been transformed into extraordinary shapes, I used to feel my spirit lighten. This was the stuff of snowmen and snowballs. Today would be different. The roads would be blocked and everything I had to do that day put on hold. I'd get on the phone, find that half the places I had to go were closed anyway and that the other half were inaccessible. After that, I could slow down and take my time. Spend all day in my slippers. I could go back to bed if I wanted to. Lounging around quickly gets tiresome if you've nothing else to do but, in my opinion, if you hardly ever get the chance to do it, a day when you've nothing else to do but lounge around is heaven.
Now, when I look out of the window and see that everything is still blanked out under a layer of the white stuff, that another couple of inches have fallen in the night and that the blue tits are still in a frenzy, pecking at the peanuts I leave out for them, desperately trying to eat enough to stay alive, I ask myself, when will it all end? I feel like an astronaut whose ship has crash-landed on the ice-planet lightyears from earth, waiting for the arrival of a rescue mission they know will never come. It will take years for the SOS call to reach mission control and even more years for the rescuers to make the journey. By the time they arrive, the stricken ship will be buried under metres of ice, like a mastodon in the arctic.