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When Snow Shifts from Enchantment to Nuisance: Exploring the Changing Face of Winter Magic

A foot print in snow on concrete that has made a star impression from the boot print

It has just turned midnight and it's officially the start of December. I looked outside my window and couldn’t quite believe my eyes as thick snow was settling all around. It felt somewhat magical, it felt like the festive season had properly started.

Waking up that morning it was Friday meaning no lectures, the weekend had begun and I was planning on going back home. The only issue was there was snow everywhere. The roads were covered in a thick white blanket with only thin tire marks disturbing it. Back home I lived on a main road that tends to always be gritted but for some reason, the one I live on up at university hadn’t been despite being a reasonably popular road. With my car being terrible in the snow I knew it wasn’t even worth risking till some of the snow had hopefully melted so my plans were off.

Despite this, I wasn’t too bothered. It was snowing and the village of Jesmond looked as if it were straight off a postcard. I went back inside, grabbed my coat and headed for the shops. Since I’d planned to go home I had no food in so I thought it was only right to go get the typical student meal of a Tesco meal deal. I love walks in the snow, the first thing I’d do on a snow day back home was get my boots on and walk the dog. Up in Newcastle, I was missing two parts of that. The dog but more importantly, the boots.

A Snowy UK Village.

I took one step out the front door and started sliding around straight away. At first, I found it quite funny but as I continued my walk to the shops I found myself becoming more and more frustrated. And then it happened, the snow finally lost its magic. That feeling of excitement I’d always get surrounding the snow had gone. It was winding me up. Back at home, you wouldn’t mind being stuck in the house, the kitchen was stocked and the house was warm. Chances were if you were stuck inside so were your mates so you’d be out having fun in the snow. This wasn’t the case at uni. Most people still went to lectures as the university wasn’t that far away. If anything the snow was just a hindrance to us all getting on with our days.

Later on, the gritters would come round and I’d just manage to get my car home to Sheffield but it was a challenge. The snow meant for the first time driving my car felt like hard work rather than either relaxing or fun. I felt like I finally understood what many adults had meant when they said they didn’t like the snow. It was an annoyance, a hindrance and an all-round nuisance. In truth, it felt the same way that heavy rain, dense fog or high winds felt. It was no longer magic, it was just bad weather.

I’m sure when you have young children and they get their first taste of snow that magic does return somewhat. I also do not doubt that this was just a bad case of timing and the fact it had ruined my plans somewhat spoiled my mood when before snow had been the creator of plans rather than the issue stopping them. That being said I also know the snow will only annoy me more as I get older. If I have a job where I need to get to work no matter what and working from home isn’t an option, the snow won’t be magical at that moment. It also still makes everything feel very “Christmasy” and has put me into a festive mood much earlier than usual.

What I have learnt is to always bring a pair of boots with me to university, especially in the winter. Also, I found a big advantage to living on a main road I’d never realised before and probably rate gritters as one of the most important public sector jobs there is because nobody in this country is good at driving in the snow!


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