Eight days ago, we had one of our rare London snowfalls. We’ve had them the last three years in fact, but before that it must have been a decade or more without snow. My children had never seen it in their own garden, only a ski slope.
The snow brings out the child in all of us. The wonder at the scenery, the muffling of sound, the serenity. The chance to chuck snowballs at each other. The chance to create, to build snowmen. Young and old unite in the task, just like they do on the beach with sandcastles. We all love to build. And to share in the endeavour. It brings out the best in us, the simple joy of sharing.
Here’s a shot from St James’s Park two or three years ago. Real ingenuity!
This time around, we all went back to work and school and the snowmen started to thaw. But it stayed cold and they didn’t all disappear overnight. heads were lost, and somehow they became dirty, muddy. I guess there was always muck mixed up with the snow, and the snow melts first.
Yesterday, I walked through Walpole Park in Ealing, on the way to the shops. There were decapitated snowmen everywhere, scarred by mud. Ready to die, but holding out. Sad to compare these shrivelled shapes with the original creations on that snowy weekend a week ago.
In this one you can imagine a face, sinking slowly into the ground, silently crying at the inevitable.
This reminds me of an octopus without legs.
And how did so much dirt get into this one? And what’s that man doing by the far tree?
(Actually, I think he was playing hide and seek with his young child).
The last remains. Strung out on the mud. An inglorious end.
But it was fun while it lasted.