Monday, 6 December 2010


It’s official. Edinburgh is near meltdown (an unfortunate pun). Commuters encased in ice-cars. Buses buried to the ceiling in towers of snow hell. Shoppers scaling the north face of Jenners to escape the twenty-foot snowmen marauding the capital and nibbling on Walter Scott.

I envy the squirrel and racoon—creatures of habitual hibernation. I envy them for their talent at sniffing out nuts and ants, as well as their regular oestrus periods. (How pleasant to mate regularly every summer, as opposed to sporadically over the year. And have you ever tried intercourse in winter? It’s not feasible without heating the bedroom first. I mean, in the grip of passion, there’s always the floor, but no one’s going to pretend flat-back sex on the rug is a ripping good time, are they? And there’s still those hands to warm up.)

As ever, there’s a lovely irony to this mess. The government recently slashed public services, leaving one snow plough for the whole of Scotland. Donald (as it’s called, the driver’s named JCB), has been going since 1979 and is currently dusting a byroad off Kirkwall in the Orkneys. He should reach Edinburgh in time for next winter, at which point the snow will have stacked about four miles. An Eskimo society will have formed atop Arthur’s Seat, led by a brutal Ian Rankin, intent on serving Sandy McCall Smith’s testes in a broth.

For children (like me), this is nirvana. I lived for snow days at school. The one day we were sent home, I spent the afternoon guzzling down Tizer and unlocking the bonus levels on Crash Bandicoot 3. Such were the pleasures of a simple lad lost in a world of digitised fantasy. Now, I only venture out to buy spuds or wrestle frozen cod out the hands of fishermen. See you in the foam.


  1. Welcome to our world! (We Canadians experience many a day like this).

    Have to tell you that we vacayed with some Scots in Jamaica. Yes, they got stranded by the snowed-in airports. Had to stay an extra 3 days. Sounds like paradise, right? But think of the extra cost! I don't think a resort cares much about "acts of god"....

    The Middle Ages

  2. We North Carolinians pray for days like that. The single threat of a flurry sends warrens of fretful and feisty shoppers to the bread and milk aisle in case of a 2" Snopoclypse. Spuds and cod sounds much more sustainable.

  3. Okay, I know you are young, so I am taking pity... It is ALSO possible to have sex in a chair, on a table and standing against a wall. Counters can work. In fact, in the weather you are experiencing, I might even recommend standing in a SHOWER. Add soap so everyone is nice and slippery--it's lovely.

    But that aside, I hope Donald doesn't have a heart attack before he gets Scotland cleared!

  4. Barb: Quite a pickle. If that were my folks, they'd have a jolly miserable extra three days. I was denied change in a shop today because of the snow. Almost threw a hissy fit.

    Jen: I'll send you some snow. It'll be my pleasure. I'll pay postage and everything.

    Hart: Thank you for the, um, tips. I have heard these rumours, but I am British, so quietly under the sheets once a year while talking about the weather will do me just fine thank you very much!

  5. I'm not impressed. Snow days are unheard of here. That is, we refer to them as "October". And it won't get us time off, only dented cars. Just the other day my bus was late because it hit a car. It killed a frozen yoghurt in the process.

  6. Poor frozen yoghurt. If it was vanilla, we really have something to mourn about.