Monday, February 02, 2009

Steal softly thru snow

Originally uploaded by petemaskreplica.

Rarely does a collapse of the transport system feel so welcome. That travel alert sitting in my inbox this morning telling me that there were no trains at all was the sweetest news I'd had in a while. So much so that instead of going straight back to bed, we jump up, rush into the garden and build a splendid effigy.

Later we walk up to the woods and are astounded by the sight that greets us. It's as though Abbey Wood has tuned into a Breughel painting: people everywhere, adults and children alike, running and laughing and sliding down the hill, many on sledges (where have they been for the past eighteen years?) or snowboards or just binbags. No hostility, no depression, no recession, just a whole load of people who live nearby all enjoying themselves. Politicians go on the radio every day and tell us what's wrong with society, all the laws and restrictions they need to impose on us to put it right, to keep us in our place. And it turns out it's all unnecessary. All it really needs is a few inches of snow.

It won't last, of course, it never does - in fact as we head home again the tears and arguments are starting again as reluctant children are dragged home - but for a moment this afternoon we all forgot the fear that drives our lives and lived.

The sight that really amazes, and really shouldn't is this: children, loads of them, outside, playing. How did that become such a rare sight? I wonder how many of them have never really been allowed out to play like this before. I hope when the snow melts they still play.

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