About once every 6 or 7 years we get decent snow. Snow that’s thick, and lasting, and suitable for all the usual fun-filled activities that snow has to offer. Last week was that time! We had two days of good snow, and as per the usual the schools were shut and I was allowed to work from home.
In between checking and sending emails, powerpoint presentations and other dull, grown-up stuff we tried to fit in some fun (wet and cold) activities. After all, M could be a teenager before she sees snow like that again! We weren’t going to miss it.
Timing was everything. I didn’t want to venture out with two children if it was still snowing and windy because they’d be cold and miserable in no time. But wait for the weather to improve and it might be too late – snow doesn’t hang around round these parts!
Day 1 we stayed inside, heating on full blast, PJs and dressing gowns and Lego and Disney films. It was cold and stormy and icy but not much snow yet.
Day 2 was The Day. More snow overnight, winds dying down, forecast for temperatures to rise and bring some rain so if we were going out it was now or never! So out we went, kids in snow suits and waterproof gloves and wellies, taking in turns to be pulled on the sled I had bought, optimistically, from a charity shop two years ago (£1! Bargain!). We hiked the slippery 1km to Ludgershall Castle. Roads were not very car-friendly and lots of vehicles had got stuck, it transpired, on the back road towards Marlborough. The council were driving supplies up in 4x4s to help stranded drivers, and lots of locals were helping out too – lovely to see community spirit!
The castle was bustling with people. It’s surrounded by lots of small hills of varying steepness so perfect for sledging and there’s a slope to suit all ages and levels of daring. M had first got, choosing a long but gentle slope and whooping the whole way down. E then had a turn, followed by me. The girls insisted I try ‘the big slope’ and pushed me down a significantly longer, steeper slope before I could argue. I stayed on – just! It was tremendous fun.
Then E wanted to try The Big Slope like I had and promptly fell on her face. Well, that was the end of sledging. She was cold and soggy and tired and hurt and we basically turned tail and came straight back. M was a bit miffed and managed to fit in about 5 more turned while I sorted out her little sister. She would happily have stayed sledging until her fingers turned blue I think!
The walk home was hard work – I pulled both girls on the sled most of the way as they were tired, which was a good workout especially up the hills! I was grateful for my universal snow spikes which fitted over my wellies. A very good Lidl purchase!
Home was hot chocolate and more movies, and not moving from under the blanket. M and I later built a snowman in the garden, and E stabbed it with sticks to see if it would fall down.
We kept the bird feeders topped up and saw lots of new birds in the garden, including a pair of Fieldfares which I don’t think I’ve seen before.
A lovely couple of days! All that remains now is a very small patch of snow where the snowman once stood. Everything else melted away as quickly as it came.