How do you know you're getting old? When the sight of snow flakes makes you groan with with fear and alarm at the thought of so many undone tasks, delayed trains, potentially twisted ankles and bruised butts rather than whooping with joy and punching the air in the certain knowledge that chaos plus cancellation equals untold fun. I'm still in the 'isn't it pretty' phase but it's early days. I remember my first winter in NY. We'd spent Christmas in Jamaica (so brilliant...but that's a whole other story) and got back on a Monday.
'Has it been snowing?' I asked the cab driver, fearful we might have missed the magic of a snowy Manhattan.
'Nope, not much.' he replied.
On Friday it started and didn't stop till April. April!! I kid you not. It was the coldest/biggest/whitest winter since the beginning of recorded time. But it was great. Well the first couple of months were. I even saw my one and only ice storm which is quite and extraordinary sight. But the thing is, everything worked. Snow ploughs cleared the city's avenues and streets, dumping tones of snow and ice in the river, everyday. The subways worked, the city schools stayed open, taxis came and went, the side walks were cleared. We'd go out in the evenings, all dressed up in full arctic kit (I still have my oh-so-horrid, green puffy coat, $25 in an Old Navy sale, glamorous it may not be but it works). We'd drink martinis and make snow angels on the way home. And the heating....oh what joy when the clank of those pipes herald the arrival of the heat, controlled from some distant boiler-room, buried deep in the bowels of the building.....
But life is very different here. A bit of rain and it floods, a couple of hot days and people are dropping in the streets, government health warnings are issued. And now it snows and everything stops. It's as if we've never seen anything like it before. Hello...was everyone on holiday last winter?
I have a friend..... waxed, plucked and packed for a quick trip to an Indian beach ....hoping to fly this weekend who's panicking big time. And were I in that enviable position I too would be cursing the weather Gods. However, I'm not. North London hasn't so far taken much of a hit, not compared to my friends in the south who assure me they're still trying to shovel a path to the tube. So I'm lucky. I'm lucky I can pay the bills again so the heating is set at Bombay, I can walk to Waitrose and the cinema, I can bake Nigella's scones for tea, my needs are few...... And the city is half empty as everywhere else is claiming a white out. It's quite nice really.
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