It it started so silently, so utterly unnoticed. The grey sky grew no greyer as the raindrops turned imperceptibly to the first little frozen pellets . Only change in the sound as the raindrops flicked against the window and drizzled down the glass gave us any reason to look up from where we sat at the table eating lunch amid the detritus left over from a morning folding paper stars to brighten up our windows.
The first flurry came as a shower of frozen rain, tiny little dots of ice scattering as they hit the ground and swept by the wind into miniature slushy drifts in corners, enough to bury down into the lawn and give a faint whitening to the grass if you looked at it through screwed up eyes and hoped for the best.
“I think we might give the play park a miss this afternoon girls.”
“but why Mummy!”
“Because it’s really cold and snowing my love”
“But I want to go to play in the snow!”
“How about the garden?”
We settled on the garden and two excited little girls rushed off to find boots and waterproofs, to try to put them on, to put them on backwards or on the wrong feet, and finally to stand by the back door dressed up all warm and cosy and ready to take on the world.
Naturally by this point the first flurry had stopped and looked rather like it was starting to melt and we went outside more in the determination that if it was going to get around to actually snowing in Warwickshire we were going to see it, to touch it, to try to avoid being spotted tasting it (small girls, not so much Pip or me) and to stamp up and down in it for as long as we could cope with being outside in the cold.
We stomped up and down the patio, drew smiley faces in our table and Kitty even scooped our one and only snowball off the bottom of the monkey swing.
And then, just as we were starting to think about heading in again it started again, ice drops quickly turning to big feathery flakes, time in slow motion as the rapid little frozen rain drops that had pelted down became a whirl of languid drifting down.
It was bitterly cold, it was windy and the snow stuck in our hair and our hoods, and melted on Elma’s rather optimistic choice of headgear but it was snow and it was magical.
And while the storm cloud danced across the sky we stayed outside. The girls played on the trampoline, contemplated the slide but decided it was a step too far and made more swirly patterns and smiley faces wherever they could, right up to and including the bonnet of my car.
And Pip, my tiny boy nestled up in the sling, took one look at this new level of cold and decided that the best, nay the only thing to do in this weather was to snuggle down and have a little nap until he might wake up somewhere calmer and warmer.
It started to melt as quickly as it came, and by the time H was home rom work the roads were clear and only the ice still hiding in the grass told any part of our story.
I know plenty of people have had plenty more snow, enough for snow angels and igloos and snowmen, and if we were to wake up tomorrow to a foot of snow outside I would be absolutely thrilled, but I’m not letting that take away from the fun of our not so very snowy snow day. Or perhaps that should just be a snow moment?!