I take it you’ve all heard of this form of precipitation in your lives.
But some of you – especially those of you from my homeland Down Under – may not have experienced much of it.
I sure hadn’t before I left Australia.
The first time I saw real-life, actual, 100% genuine snow was when I was 18 years old.
It was in Australia, but there was none falling from the sky, it was all on the ground.
It was nonetheless magical.
It was a wonderfully white carpet that was cold and wet but equally delightful as it was melty…
I managed to wear a total of 20-something layers of clothes to keep myself warm (and incapable of a wide range of movements) and frolicked like an excitable puppy!
So when I booked my move to London, and my father – who had migrated in the opposite direction 40 years previous – asked “Whyyyyyy?” (he claimed to have left the place due to the cold weather and the snow) I told him that it was because I was excited for such a prospect!
The truth is, I was desperate for that prospect.
You can tell, after nearly three and a half years, how deep that desperation has become.
I’ve charted it.
This is the same kind of fresh, uninhibited, unadulterated joy that the world-wearied Londoners I encountered last week witnessed.
IT SNOWED IN CENTRAL LONDON!
I was snoooooooooooooow excited!
(Get it “snoooooooooooooow” instead of “soooooooooooo”? Get it? Get it? #comedygoldwithtash)
It snowed a little on Thursday evening, as I was leaving work.
As I was walking down Regent Street and toward Oxford Circus – picture it on your Monopoly board if you’ve not done the walk yourself – the view was absolutely breathtaking!
The beautiful, old buildings that look majestic and wonderful in the evening dark anyway were made all the more picturesque with the precipitous conditions.
Other pedestrians hurried toward the tube station as quickly as they could, fearing that it would shortly close and they’d be stranded.
I just put my brolly up, tightened my scarf around my neck and didn’t even bother to hide the giant grin that spread from ear to ear as the snow fell heavier.
Let me be clear.
It was not snowing enough that it settled on the ground.
It didn’t really settle anywhere.
But there was no mistaking the white flakes coming out of the sky.
And there was no mistaking the antipodeans in town – we were as smiley as each other.
On Friday, I worked in a very tall glass building.
A year before, the week after I’d been to Iceland, on a random day in April, I had encountered some almost-snow there.
This week, I encountered actual snow.
I could see it.
I couldn’t get to it.
I was trapped.
But that didn’t stop the mania!
I tried to be an adult.
I tried to be professional.
And yet, my greeting to every single staff member I saw was one word:
Just my own brand of special day Tourette’s…
A kind colleague appeared at my desk and before she’d had time to finish her sentence, I was off:
“Tash, would you like to -”
I assumed she was offering me the chance to see the snow.
I didn’t ask for clarification.
I took my phone.
I didn’t grab my coat or my hat or my umbrella.
I was NOT allowing the snow gods time to laugh at me.
I took the glass lift all the way to ground.
I swiped my secure pass and I ran through the lobby.
(You know I was excited because I ran – I don’t do running. Not without good reason.)
I got outside, was blasted by cold wind and had never been happier.
I ignored the giggling of the school group that walked past me at that exact moment.
I addressed the bemused and confused expressions of the front of house staff in the building on my way back through: “I’m Australian”.
I returned to my desk and repeated my thanks to the kindly colleague.
And I tried to calm down.
The thing is 90% of the people who were faced with my #snowcitement, tried to bring me down.
I got “This isn’t real snow!”
I got “You don’t want it to actually snow. London shuts down.”
I got “It turns to sleet and slush.”
I got “It’s just raining.” (Like I’m some dickhead who’s never seen rain! Please! I’m from MELBOURNE!)
I tried to bring the joy to these folks.
I tried to remind them that despite the slight inconvenience it may cause, it was still amazing!
I got nothing.
Instead, I got met with “Oh! Is it raining?” from staff who’d clearly forgotten where they lived.
“Is it raining?” or any variation of this expression annoys me.
Especially if you live in London.
OF COURSE IT’S RAINING! IT’S WINTER! AND YOU’RE IN LONDON!
It confuses and confounds me when people ask this as much as it confuses and confounds them when they have this realisation.
How is this still surprising to you?
You’re an adult!
You understand how seasons work!
Last week, my breasts were sore.
Stick with me here, this is on track, I swear.
I was extra clumsy.
I was eating a lot of chocolate.
I was still hungry.
I ate two dinners.
And then the next day I had no appetite.
The ladies amongst you know what I’m saying – I was due to bleed.
And you know what?
I got my period.
Calm down, repulsed men, I’m not going to go into gruesome detail – your genteel selves can cope.
And you know what else?
I was surprised.
Every month this happens.
Well, every four to five weeks-ish.
Every month I have the same warning signs.
And every single month I’m surprised when it happens.
I do actually have a theory about why – without any medical backing to it, so I’ll confer with Doctor Kiwi Face (#alwaystrustyourdoctor) before sharing it – but now is not the time.
My point is this – even in our lives of cycles and routines, the same old things shock us time and time again.
Perhaps we should aim to be prepared for the obvious and find the enjoyment in the surprises.
… Surprises like…
Snow in central London!
** Please note that the picture above in no way reflects the level of snow London experienced last week.
… But it’s how I saw it!