King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Friday, December 24

Scary's awakened another corner of my brain laid to rest many years ago...

This post, by Scaryduck, led me to write my own memories of snow.

Winter 1987, and a particularly heavy snowfall fell across London and the south-east overnight. I awoke the following morning, to find that my house had been deluged by some 6 to 9 inches of snow, and knew that fun was to be had.

I'll never forget it, the fact that my trainers only the day before had split down one side and were completely un-wearable. I had no choice, but to wear 'normal' shoes with about as much grip as an ice skate and just as much controllability on the solid slippery stuff. My school was only 5 minutes down the road, down being the operative word. I lived on a rather large hill, and the school was at the bottom of the hill. Walking down the path wasn't overly difficult, but the school’s top gate was like the start of a ski slope and my attempt at walking down "Eddie the Eagle Street" was going to and did lead to the inevitable. I slipped, causing much merriment and mirth with my mates who had worn their Hi-tec Edge or Adidas 3 stripe with grips. I rolled around on the floor like a floundering whale, before finally managing to stand up. Much to my horror, I found that school had been closed and we were all being sent home. I swear to this day, the bastards left the gate open, just so they could have a laugh at someone’s expense.

One of my mates came home with me and we agreed to go up to his place. I got changed into a much more trendy set of clothes, and more importantly warmer, and we left up the hill to his humble abode. We dossed around for a couple of hours before we decided to go find out where the hardcore sledging was. We found a park adorned with younger children, and went and spent some of our (well, his) hard earned paper round money on a set of black bags. Other kids had turned up in all sorts of high velocity snow projectiles, including such delights as the plastic blue ones that had been gifts only the Christmas the month before. Some posher kids had turned up on their Blue Peter sledge, lovingly carved by their father in his garage. Of course, one toffee nosed twat turned up on skis, but we made a point of deliberately sliding into him, just to make him fed up and bugger off. As the day progressed, 2 runs formed. A very cool short bobsleigh run, with banks and curves down the right hand side of the hill, and a speed run. The speed run was ideal for setting up a jump, and with only an hours daylight left, everyone chipped in and started to use their sledges as make shift snow transporters. In the space of 10 minutes a large pile of snow with the profile of an isosceles triangle was set up. The height really should have been a warning to others. Aircraft in the area could be seen avoiding the top. Cloud was forming around the summit. Olympic officials could be seen walking away saying it was just too high for any of their competitions. And some poor bugger was going to see how far he could jump from the top of it.

Michael Buddle, a boy in my year, was renowned for being a bit of a nutter.

"I’ll do it!" he cried.

Myself and a few of the ‘beefier’ lads had perfected the art of propelling would be tea tray tacklers down the slope at high velocity. Michael was lined up, and on the count of 3 propelled on a long red and white roadworks sign down the hill. He must have been doing at least 25 miles an hour when he reached the Kilmanjaro of the snowy slope. The front of the sign just did not have enough bend to make it up the initial curve of the slope, and stuck fast upon contact. Michael let out a blood curdling “Hhhhhnnnnnggggghhhhhhhh” and went airborne for at least 12 seconds. Double somersault and triple salco, and he came down with a large crumpling thud that could be heard by everyone from the top of the slope. He went to scream at this point but made a more interested “Heeellllnnnnnggghhhh” noise. He’d been winded.

"Me next," was shouted from behind me.

"No. Me!"

Casualty department anyone?