Waking up to white drifting down outside blanketing clean. Bundling up warm we carefully make our way down the icy slick stairs. Quickly build forts and throw snowballs until hands numb and wet inside our wool mittens. Inside again, the mittens would be drying steamily on the heater. During recess packing snow to roll larger until it becomes too lumpy and heavy to push alone, leaving a path revealed of crushed green glimpses of summer.

Icicles would form down the eaves of the house, growing slowly longer over night. Standing on the waist high wall that ran along porch edges to break off as close to the base as possible, sometimes shattering. Resembled crystalline carrots, slowly tapering with occasional lumps to a delicate slightly rounded wandering point. Large and transparent blurry, clean spotted occasional flecks embedded as first fallen untouched snow in the morning.

Precursing snow puddles would freeze over. At first small filliments of ice spreading across the surface difficult to see, upon touch revealed while crumbling. Wind would grow colder steadily ice would thicken until it was possible to stand upon lightly without shattering. Then break the edges away to lift up a dripping murky sheet for cold sun to wander through, until at last frozen numb hands it was dropped shattering small sparkling chunks sliding over the cement.
The sound of snow filters through consciousness: when you wake, you know it is there, present in the absence of noise, the muffled hiss of a lone car slowly ploughing through. Excited bare feet scatter birdlike across the cold wooden floor, cold toes wriggle into woolly socks, hands snatch warm layers to draw against shivering skin, throw back the curtains: and there it is - the world, transformed.

Two feet deep, or more. The road is a borderless river of snow, the car's tracks at its centre faded by fresh falls into whipped cream. Fences, hedges and trees are loaded with generous helpings of sugar frosting: a Hansel and Gretel, edible world. In the distance the big house sparkles, sugar decoration on a high sugar hill. The sky is a creamy, cloudy yellow, so still and dense you could eat it with a spoon, and it would melt in your mouth. I want to mark the virgin white surface of my garden, and run to the door. Can't open it: there is a four-foot snowdrift up against it, blown there in the night. A phonecall brings people with spades, who dig me out. We make a snowman taller than myself from the diggings. Hands warming round hot mugs of tea by the fire, we hatch a plan for sledging: someone is dispatched on a mission to the pub, to find six large beer trays. They are found with surprising swiftness, and we make our slow way, slipping and snowballing, up to the sugar hill.

The snow is powdery on top, firm beneath. On the far side is a steep, perfect white slope. Laughing people in coats and hats and scarves roll bundled down on sledges, black bin liners, cardboard boxes and anything that could possibly slide. We line up at the top, position the beer trays: cling to the edges which must be bent upwards, mind your hands, pull your feet in and - go! snow whipping at your face, exhilarating windrush, shouts and yells and bumping, spinning chaos as we fly down the hill, roughly in formation. Tangle of arms, legs and happy breathless faces at the bottom in a fog of laughter. We shake off the snow, reshape the sledges, and run back up to do it again.

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