Monday, 11 January 2010

A Cold-fisted Catharsis During the 'Big Freeze'

Thanks to my background, I attuned to this month’s prolonged cold snap faster than most. I know how to survive these exceptional conditions. In fact, I enjoy the challenge. It's about focusing your mind, keeping the fire inside burning and always knowing where to find food and shelter. I remember one year I had to hide in an abandoned badger’s sett, or was it a fox hole? Either way, as I lay sandwiched between earth, it didn’t take long for my body temperature to warm up the tight space. But I digress...

During my winter wanderings on the edges of Dartmoor, it was warming to see families out in the newly whitened landscape, making the most of it before the thaw, sledging, having snowball fights, creating snow sculptures; and you can't beat the look of wander in a child's eye as they take in the spectacle of snow for the first time - absolute magic!

Also, people seem to have been particularly artistic and generous this year: I saw my first snowsheep and a hefty, Hattie-Jacques-like snowwoman wearing a sizable bra and skirt, hats off to their creators.

As I walked into Plymouth I began to notice how the snowpeople* changed as I got closer the the city centre: on the outskirts, snowpeople* wore traditional items such as a top hat, flat cap and tartan or plain scarfs; closer to the centre, I came across snowpeople that I can only describe as snowchavs, draped in Burberry hats, scarves and 'bling'.

I must confess that under the cover of night, as I passed some of these snowchavs, I couldn’t help using them to vent my frustration. You see, I’ve had so much verbal abuse in the past from teens and sometimes kids as young as five, calling me names, telling me I smell (imaginative!) and to piss off out the county (no chance!). So when I saw these snowchavs I couldn’t resist applying a swift undercut to their stomach, or a sharp blow to their temple. Such swift Ali-esque moves inevitably lead to the casual disembowelment and decapitation of the snowchavs. But I had to take advantage because I had a lot to get off my tramping moobs and I could never hurt an actual person - unless in self-defence.

Tip: If it's icy do what I do and wear a rucksack filled with clothes so should you fall backwards, your coccyx will be spared a rattling. If you fall forwards, err, try and roll mid-fall.

* I say snowpeople not to be pc but because saying snowmen would do an injustice to all the snowwomen I saw - they may have even been in a majority.

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