In which our reluctant hero became the first person to actually want to build a snowman. EVER. Probably.
We had quite a lot of snow in Wolverhampton last weekend.
In the olden days, when “weather” existed instead of the constant churn of nothing, nothing, then absolute disaster, snow was a regular thing. Proper seventies snow too rather than the modern, dumbed down, Millennial stuff. Us, the children of the seventies, knew the drill.
- Fifteen layers on at all times, even in the house, to negate problems of ice on the radiators.
- Schools shutting each lunchtime (due to ice on the radiators) then a four mile uphill trek through a blizzard to get home, only to do the same again the next day.
- Sledging on trays, coal sacks or bin bags off the greens at the local golf course.
- Hastily denying sledging off the greens at the local golf course.
- Quickly remembering that Parkas are to snow what Bounty (the strongest soaker upper… Boun-tee!) is to mysterious puddles on a kitchen floor.
At five and three, our children have barely seen snow and certainly didn’t remember doing so when it arrived. So, with Ice Krispies and Frosties finished, we ventured outside.
The first thing to do in the snow is, unsurprisingly, to build a snowman. In reality, it was the second thing to do, the first being throwing snowballs at dad’s ever increasing backside.
We started the build with shovels and dustpans before going old school by rolling a massive ball. The freshly rolled head, a virtual planetoid with its own weather system, caused a minor collapse that required much filling and patting down, but it started taking shape. I wasn’t sure what sort of shape, but definitely a shape.
Stick arms, a pinecone mouth and buttons, a carrot nose (snapped naturally, courtesy of the boy) and a fetching pink hat and scarf combo were attached, then… ta-da! A proper snowman. Or maybe a snowma’am. Or something.
It looked a little like the lovechild of The Elephant Man and E.T. but was not bad for the kids’ first one. It was possibly my wife’s first snowman too as she couldn’t remember making one before either.
Angels in the snow-filled Tettenhall Pool followed, although the children were too small to form theirs properly. Either that or their halos had slipped.
Olaf fever had clearly caught on, and the little people were back building little snow people in no time.
Kids being kids, there is always an “on/off” switch with every activity. This time it was the switch that flipped between having fun and being two minutes away from hypothermia. A hasty bath and warm soup quickly transformed the chill-dren back into children and kept Social Services off our backs.
Later in the week, a whole new level of fun was presented when my wife dug my old sledge out of the shed.
I bought the sledge in 1989, a half price bargain from Mr Bevan’s in Mold, a few years before I left home. Well, I think I did. The factual accuracy of pretty much anything that I have done at any point in my life before breakfast is questionable. I’m not even sure what I had for breakfast most days, if I’m honest.
Anyway, somehow the sledge was bought from somewhere. I’m more certain about the “when” as it was the exact time that the planet’s core temperature rose sufficiently for the sledge to spend the next 28 years or so stuck in a garage, then a shed. Until Tuesday.
The boy loved it, zooming up and down Lower Green like a low budget, middle-class Cool Runnings remake. The girl enjoyed it less, not appreciating that high speed crashes are all part of the “fun.” Whereupon she just moaned. Then had a meltdown. Honestly, take a chill pill.
My wife came up with a cunning plan to rid herself of the earache, jumping into the unguarded sledge and whooshing off down the hill. She would have earned £250 from Jeremy Beadle had she been any closer to the tree half way down the slope too.
“Who’s the best at driving, kids?”
When I left the Rebel Alliance base in Wolver-Hoth-ton on Tuesday evening, ahead of a meeting with officials from the Galactic Empire, all was calm, all was bright. When I returned the following evening, there was barely a trace of snow.
A week after it drifted in, White Christmas is seemly over. If it’s another 28 years until the sledge comes out again it may well be for the grandchildren. Perhaps “Sled in a Shed” may also become a thing once everyone has binned their elves?
With the snowman collapsing, the final task was to take its accessories back inside, although the scarf seemed to be hanging around while the hat went on ahead. Snow joke.