It’s Thursday. The first snow fell around midnight last Friday. The car has been trapped, shackled by the white stuff, since Sunday. Food stocks are running out. The only shop within non-snowshoe walking distance has run out of bread. It’s down to its last couple of boxes of corn flakes. Life without corn flakes looms! Morale is at a low ebb. To keep warm, we are burning the complementary copies of my books that the publishers send me. Saw a postman for the first time in days this morning, but he didn’t make it up our street; I fear he may have fallen victim to the ravenous wolves that now roam through our gardens and sidestreets, pressing their noses up against our windows after dark and drooling. The snowmen we built in the first happy days of our wintry imprisonment are crushed and fallen, submerged beneath the prodigious further snowfalls.
The birds – poor fluffy little birdikins – gather in disconsolate groups to bemoan the closure of the world. There is an eerie silence, save the occasional crunch and rumble of a 4×4 patrolling roads that are more like skiing pistes. It’s a fraught kind of peace. Residents keep themselves busy bombarding the local council with demands for snowploughs, gritters, skis for those poor postmen and their waste collection colleagues.
And now and again the sun breaks through and the world is as beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen: great undulating mounds of gleaming, powdery snow; icicles – proper, clear stalactites of pure ice – adorn every gutter. It’s snowing again now, as I type, but without the conviction of recent days and nights. Forecasters say it’s just about done with us for now. But it’s going to get colder, not warmer, so what’s already fallen isn’t likely to be thawing any time soon. The wintry fantasia is going to be with us for a while yet.
I fear for the postman, if he does arrive at the door of some particularly desperate, deprived house, its residents driven mad by their enforced seclusion. Hunger and cold do terrible things to a person, and a plump-looking postman might be just the nourishment they need.
Tags: Winter Wonderland
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