I haven't done this in a while,
So you'll know what I'm about to celebrate then? The snow.
It has been down a few days and it had a truly breathtaking arrival, but the only thing it is taking now is its toll, on an unprepared Britain. And everyone's grumbling. And why not? Snow is the boxjellyfish of the elements. Its so beautiful to behold but it is so surely lethal. It hardly takes a day to realise it. It can strangle an infrastructure in a night and put an unprepared civilisation on the brink. If it is to be enjoyed it must be tamed, and that is no mean feat. But this is a challenge for a greater mind. Instead, I am all for the enjoyment and the danger. Leaning wide eyed and hypnotized into the jellyfish nest, chewing at its tentacles and wearing it as a hat, ready to wander up to my waist and have some fun.
The power of the snow for me is it's deception. It transforms your back garden into an unrecognisable alpine pasture and your town into a majestic château resort. Where grey skies mean only rain in Ireland, It is so foreign to me that I just cannot keep down the excitement when I step outside into the morning. Everywhere becomes empty and silent in a powdery drift and I'm filled with gladness - shrieking with wonder through my scarf and hat. Everything slows down to the steady pace of icy boots on the creaking ground. Shoulders hunched up, looking out at strange scenes. The landscape changes so much that there are no boundaries. You discover minutes too late that you've wandered through someone's garden. A new hill turns out to be a car. Abandoned artefacts and traces of passers long gone gently white brushed away.
I'm so thankful of the camera. Without it I would stay my course and keep the head down. But it challenges me to set off and explore, to make that single three foot trench that stretches off into the distance. To see what wilderness a modern city can become, chuckling like a kid from inside my hood.