If you have been living in the UK over the last week or so, I can imagine your topics of conversation have been majorly revolved around the snow, at least to some extent. It’s been the main source of news all of last week, the storm leaving many stranded, without power, water and tragically, even resulted in a few deaths. It’s been impossible to ignore the buzz surrounding the unexpected eastern weather shift in March, coined the ‘Beast of the East’.
Whilst we don’t have anywhere near the frequency or amount of snow compared to some countries (I’m looking at you Canada…), you can always rely on the UK to have something to say with the slightest sign of a snowy experience. For the most part, especially the people I’ve been around for the past week or so, it’s been mostly negative opinions on the white showers. Truthfully, it has had a huge impact on daily life, but whilst many dwell on the inconveniences, I’d like to briefly touch on my personal reasons for absolutely adoring the snow…
- A beautiful filter
Without a doubt the reason that springs right to mind when I think of the snow. It’s so darn’ beautiful. When the snow sets and results in this wonderful white coating amongst all it falls on, the aesthetics are such a treat, even over the most mundane of environments. This layer of bright whiteness can add such elegance to places. A filter in which the black wet roads are greatly contrasted with the whiteness of fields and pavements. A filter where even a covered bench can seem to have such character. Litter, pavement chewing gum and manhole covers cease to be, only whiteness. Footsteps add signs of busy lives where before all was minimal. Trees seem so majestic with their cold and frosty jackets. The flurries of snow slightly obscuring your views over the winter wonderland right there in your residence. Snow re-vitalises our environment, the ones we’re used to seeing repetitively with desensitised interest. Snow invites new perspectives. It’s a photographer’s dream.
- A reason to wrap up
As much as I love the summertime and the ability it brings to be able to dress casually and minimally, it’s to be appreciated the opportunities the winter weather brings, especially snow. Put on that warm hat or beanie, go mad with the gloves. Scarfs? Yes please. Don’t forget the thick winter jackets, coats and boots. To wander the snowy scenes whilst keeping warm offers such enjoyment, to me at least.
- New activities
Take a sled to a hill in any other weather and you’ll look a bit odd. Snowing? GO FOR IT. It’s so heartwarming to see so many families enjoying the snow with their children. Dusting off those sleds, putting on those skis (some lakes were frozen, right?) and just sharing time making the most of what the conditions have to offer. Many places around my area held host to cohorts of children (and adults too), sledding, building snowmen and having snowball fights. It can only be a good thing.
With the aforementioned beautiful filter of snow, I find it enticing the take a walk in places of which I haven’t thought about walking in a while. There are some short but nice walks around where I live, however, I’ve walked those walks so many times. Countless photos of the same scenes, exhausted. Snow truly makes it seem like a new area that you’re just discovering for the first time, and it’s fantastic. Never is there a time when I’m more motivated and passionate for going out wandering then when I am during snowfall.
- Snow news is good news
During snowy periods, the news shifts its focus. Us ‘Brits’ don’t experience much snow often, especially not on such a national scale. Therefore, when we do, it’s BIG news. It’s pleasing to hear so much about how people are making the most of the snowfall in weird and wacky ways. Locals in Portsmouth and Brighton took to the choppy seas for nippy sunrise swims; apparently it has a huge array of health benefits. Snowmen competitions, igloo building and sledge racing too. It’s a little light-hearted, but that’s what the news can do with from time to time.
- Selfless acts
Whilst the snow can bring joy to many, a harsh reality is that it brings chaos to unfortunate individuals too. So many homeless people at an even higher risk of peril. With below freezing conditions, the community steps in to help in whatever way they can. I’ve heard an abundance of selfless acts via social media and the news, and with each read they restore my faith in humanity. A local pub named the Milton Arms opened their large function room doors to those needing shelter. Freely serving hearty homemade stews and soups, homeless guests were offered blankets, company and somewhere to stay until the heavy snow ceased to be. Pure heroes. Also in the newspaper, several gentlemen around Portsmouth used their 4×4 vehicles to freely chauffeur nurses and care workers around the city so they can reach their service users on time without facing the cold and dangerous conditions. I guess because the issue is widespread and a mutual inconvenience we can all relate to being inhibited by, the snow can really bring out the best in people.
I threw my first snowball for around three years the other day, and it felt great. There’s something so nostalgic about re-living those childish winter activities. Just having a bit of fun with your friends like you used to in the school yard all those winters ago. The snow this time around was perfect for this, and when I invited a couple of friends round one evening before we headed out, I knew an ambush was imminent upon their arrival. It has to be done. No one is too ‘adult’ to throw snowballs.
So there you have it, my personal love for the snow. What are yours? I hope you weren’t hit too hard by the snow and had the chance to enjoy it whilst it lasted.
Thank you for reading.