Snow and Grit February 18, 2009 10:22

Snow is more than just a type of weather. It seems to excite such wonder. There are few things that transform grown men into gleeful boys but snow is definitely one of them.
It’s not perceived as…’It’s snowing again! I can’t walk down my front path, I’m late for work because I had to clear the path then brush the car off…I didn’t come into work because my train was cancelled…I’m scared witless of driving because I can’t see properly and the car slides all over the place’, or all the other host of irritating, inconvenient and life interrupting reasons. NO. Snow transforms our ordinary surroundings into magical wonderlands, covering all the imperfections and you can ski on it, make snow men, snow angels, snow balls… all exciting snow based activities. My only lament is that I can’t wear my favourite little black suede boots for fear of ruination.
You must understand that I’m writing this from the perspective of living in Sweden, where snow is an integrated fact of life and the slightest flurry does not cause undue alarm, widespread panic or the closure of the public transport system and, by extension, schools and shops. Life does not grind to a curious halt as it can elsewhere, yes, I’m talking to you London.
The thing that truly amazes me, makes me feel like a child again, is grit. Not the actual substance, you’ll be relieved to hear, but the seemingly magical way it manifests on our streets and paths to protect us from the peril of ice. I believe it is somewhat akin to the physics of Santa Claus. How does he get around all those houses in one night? Well, we might ask the gritting pixies the same question if only one could be caught and questioned.