Here in Ireland, we're devoid of snow on an epic level. The weather forecasters are saying it'll snow, the whole of the UK is under a foot of icy coldy stuff, a weather front is moving from the Arctic south, and yet the locals all say "It's Clare. It doesn't snow here."
Meanwhile, I remember one of the more fun aspects I had of snow as a teenager. My neighbours had all helped clear the road outside my house, and because our garden was longer than anyone else's, they dumped the clearage on what was the front lawn. This meant that we had something new to play in, a large heap of compacted snow, about 4 feet high, 15 feet long and about 6 feet wide. We started with snowballs, as you do, but soon moved on to something far more constructive. Starting at one end, I created an opening, and started to hollow out the snow. Before long, I had a not inconsiderable room cut into the pile of snow. I also took what snow I had hollowed out, and put it on top of the pile, meaning I could raise the roof inside the impromptu igloo. Within a couple of hours, myself and my mate Jonathan had a warm and cosy room, where we were capable of sitting upright and out of the cold and dark that had now descended on suburbia. The problem was, from the air, we'd have a long sausage shape with a large bulge at one end. We'd created the first eskimo domicile in the shape of a penis. Something had to be done and so, the following morning, we started at the other end. By sunset we'd created another substantial snow cavern, almost identical in size and shape, at the other end. The problem was, the "pen-ice" had now changed to a gigantic snow sculpture of a half buried cartoon bone. And so, over the course of the next few days (we were both off school, and had hours and hours of free time to play), we slowly moved towards the middle from each end.
As we neared each other, I decided to cheat. I went into my garage, and taking a bar from an old roof rack, I carefully shoved it into the snow wall between us. As I drilled through to Jon's end, I heard a "Yes, I can see the pole." I then hit the end with my gloved hand, and poor Jon got a long rusty pole into the front of his face.
"FUCK!" came the cry. "WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM? You nearly had my eye out."
"It's not funny."
"Yes it is."
"FUCK! YOU BASTARD. YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO DO IT BACK!"
He did have a point though. We had about 3 feet of snow between us, and the now not insubstantial hole between us was letting the air through. The previously cosy and warm igloo in a cul-de-sac in Upper Norwood had become a slightly drafty and not so pleasant place. We realised as we opened it up we'd actually created a wind tunnel, with the iciest of winds running through it. This was a really really bad thing. I remember that it was dark outside, and with the aid of a couple of candles, we worked like a couple of tunnellers in Stalag Luft 3, chipping away at the wall. The following morning we blocked up the end of the igloo that Jon had made, and we again had a large cosy igloo, with enough room for about 12 kids. Sure enough, the neighbourhood kids came to play. The problem is, the neighbourhood thug also appeared. He was apparently impressed, and when we told him he had more chance of becoming an angelic choir girl then getting in, he stomped home, lonely and neglected.
The next day the sun came out, the thaw started, and the igloo collapsed. The rest of the streets for miles around got very wet and very drippy, and devoid of snow. Our front garden, therefore, became the central meeting point as every child from 3 to 23 had a stock of snowballs, and tried to hold to the winter as long as possible.
I want snow!!!
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