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.