Snow days in Devon! Who’d have thunk it? We’ve had two snow falls this March, making it the winteriest winter this Norwegian has ever experienced in England (and I’ve lived here for 15 years now).
Snow days!!! Albert has only really seen snow once before, back in January 2010, just before his 4th birthday. There was quite a bit of snow back then, but nowhere near as much as we’ve had this year.
At first, Albert didn’t know how to play in the snow, and just ran happily around in it instead. So as a responsible Norwegian dog owner, I got down on my hands and knees and showed him to lie down in it and roll around in it. At which point Albert just walked away from me, leaving me looking like an imbecile! 😀 The show and tell did work though, as you can see from the photos above. Monkey also got confused by the small balls of snow that formed on the fur on his legs and general undercarriage, so I got my scissors out later on and gave him a nice trim!
We were lucky to have this area all to ourselves – a few hours later it was packed with snowed-in villagers and numerous toboggans and sledges. Now, this is where yours truly gets a little confused. How is it that all British children seem to have toboggans and sledges at the ready? I mean, it only snows about once per childhood, twice if you’re lucky!
Well, the children certainly were lucky this year, and their squeals of delight resounded throughout the peaceful village the whole day – the lack of cars made it almost eerily quiet!
Another thing that is funny about snow days in Devon is that the schools close down, but the pubs manage to stay open! Even the local grocery shop was open, and somehow there was still loads of food left when I got there the next day – even hot chocolate! In other words; no panic buying in this village! 😀
Everyone went out walking to see their village under a layer of snow, and I met locals I’ve never seen before, because their cars were frozen solid so they couldn’t get to work. No really – the cars were frozen solid. It was difficult to capture on photos, but as an example, this is what my windows looked like:
The icy snow was really hard to walk in, and I’m clearly out of practice; I got muscle cramps in my calves afterwards! 😀 I asked virtually every Brit I met what the English word for skare is – the hard layer of snow that forms on top of the rest – but no one seemed to know. The consensus was that there isn’t a word for it, and most people just call it crème brûlée. Even the well-read people in my book group didn’t know a word for it. Eventually I got my dictionary out and looked it up: it is called snow crust. Hmmm. I think I prefer crème brûlée! 😉 (By the way, if you need more English words to describe snow, check out this Wikipedia article!)
The first snow lasted about two days – then everything went back to normal.
But then, last Saturday night, I smelled snow. And the next morning we woke up to this!
Snow days are here again!
Again, we were the first explorers to venture out in the morning, and we had the field all to ourselves. Albert was so happy that the snow was back that he could hardly sit still long enough to let me unclip his lead! Then he galloped across the field with free abandon, running around in his perfectly round springer spaniel circles.
It snowed all day – I don’t actually think it stopped for a moment! I could not see anything out of the Velux windows in my loft flat, as they quickly filled up with snow, and I had to head out if I wanted to see anything. However, with the village looking so lovely under a carpet of snow, that was no hardship!
It didn’t stick as well to the ground this time, though. I tried making a snow angel, but it became more of a grass angel!
We relished the last of the snow as we headed home from our midday walk that day. Then, suddenly, I realised we had forgotten something vital:
Now the snow has melted again, and as of yesterday it is officially spring!
Snow is beautiful, slush is not. Slush is pretty much one of the reasons why I moved away from Norway to what I thought would be a warmer climate… 😉 I hope this is it for now – but for the sake of Albert and the children in the village, I hope we get to enjoy some snow days again next winter!
Love, Neens xx
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