I have never been able to work out whether it’s because of, or in spite of, my Canadian genes that I hate the snow so much.
When the first flakes fall I am full of gloom and the world seems to shrink as I mentally itemise all the complications that will ensue. My horizon stops at the stretch of road I can see between the trees at the end of the drive, and the garden, which was just beginning to stir into life, turns monochrome. Although the house is cosy and warm, it’s pervaded with the hard smell of cold when you open a door or window. As the surroundings freeze up I find my energy and creativity do the same. I can’t settle but I’m not motivated to do any of those things you think you’ll do when you’re stuck indoors.
I don’t actually remember living in Montreal, we emigrated here when I was a toddler, but my older sisters talk about how hard it was getting to and from school, how the teachers had to allow an extra 30 minutes at the end of the school day so that pupils could get dressed for going home and how each child was inspected by a teacher before being allowed out of the door.
My parents moved over here because my Canadian mother loved English gardens. In Montreal the growing season was a few weeks squeezed between intense cold and scorching heat. The thing about the English climate is that nothing lasts for very long. Today the forecast is that ‘the end is in sight’ for this spell of winter that has lasted, ooh, nearly a week.
Next week it’s back to wet and windy weather. The natural order of things will be restored, and I for one can’t wait.