I didn’t think it would happen to us – our local school is famous for never closing during bad weather – but as the head teacher put it, these conditions are of a different order, and the whole family are at home for a Snowday.
Last night I gleefully made a mental list of all things I would like to do with the hours today, which seemed to stretch infinitely out, full of possibility. Here it is:
- Put the Christmas stragglers up in the loft. A miscellany of festive odds and ends have turned up all over the house since the big post-Christmas pack-up, and I’ve collected them in one place, ready for the valiant effort required to get the loft ladder down and make the journey upwards. It hardly seems worth it for a wind-up Santa, a pair of Christmas socks and a sprig of plastic mistletoe, but if I don’t do it, they will be kicking around the house for the next 10 months and beyond. Snow Day – finally I can make some time to do it.
- Years and years of unsorted photos are sloshing around my laptop, in no sort of order, and with meter readings and assorted screen shots of useful websites popping up all over the place. They need reviewing, deleting, ordering and filing – a Snow Day is the perfect opportunity.
- More photos – hard copies. I have a large collection of historic family photos, including a number of my own, dating back up to 150 years or more. There is so much I want to do with them – scan them, label them, sort them – but it takes so much time, and I will admit to getting somewhat lost in the nostalgic atmosphere that surrounds me, just from opening their box. That particular smell of the ink print, the envelopes and the negatives curls around to transport me back to a time when phone memory wasn’t a problem, but you had to wait far longer than half a second to see the image you’d taken. Couple that with the sight of people and places that leap out of their photos to unlock parts of my heart and mind that I haven’t visited for ages, and I find I can be lost in a labyrinth of memories for hours. But it has to be done – it needs to be done – and with all the hours at my disposal on a Snow Day, it is surely possible to introduce some discipline and get stuff done.
- Cleaning. Got to be done, hasn’t it? Hasn’t it? Probably should be…and especially since I have so much time to fill. Definitely doing some cleaning.
- Reading – oh yes! Bliss! I can manage some sneaky book reading, snuggled up by the fire while the boys are playing nicely together…Just a chapter or two…I never get time to read during the day. That would be amazing, and is surely possible on a Snow Day.
Did I manage any of these practical and personal achievements? No, I did not. I sorted snow-caked clothes and boots, hung up washing, arranged snacks, played games with the boys, closely monitored Twitter and Facebook to see what everyone else in the UK is doing with their Snow Day, looked out of the window to see if it had started snowing again, and made lots of hot drinks. Halfway through the day, when I hadn’t made a single move towards starting anything on the list, I decided that Christmas is in the future, and photos from the past can wait. My little boys are here now, snowy and shouty and hungry and tireless; and I will miss them so much in a few years, when all they want to do with their Snow Day is stay in their rooms, and text their friends about being stuck in the house with their parents. So the duster stayed in the cupboard, and the book stayed on the shelf. I sort of guessed they would really, as soon as I put them on my list.