The White Stuff

I will always count myself blessed that I can vividly remember my first snow.

Born in Hamburg and then home aged 6 months. Dad’s next foreign posting was to Singapore. No recollection of getting there but the abiding memories started shortly afterwards.

Sailing paper boats down the gutters in the monsoon and watching them vanishing down the storm drains whilst mindful of the assurances  of the elder kids that it was a regular event for us young ones to be swept down said drains to oblivion. A magical night in 1953 when I watched a procession of brightly-lit floats passing to celebrate the Coronation of Her Majesty. For years afterwards, I  believed  that she had actually been present. Sneaking up to the perimeter fence to watch the Ghurkas parading in case they did the trick with the kukris and the chickens. Elder kid myth again.

Many more memories and the day arrived when Dad’s posting ended and we came  home on the troop ship. The memories were being laid down thick and fast by then. Being called on to deck to watch schools of whales blowing  less than 200 yards away. Leaving the ship at Aden and taking a horse carriage trip to the zoo. Sailing through the Suez Canal and looking out through the porthole to watch trains of camels etched against the horizon. The guly-guly man coming on board and mesmorizing all us brats with his magic.

Docked at Liverpool and trained to Dad’s next posting in Perth where,  two months later, I started Primary School. It was all fairly uneventful and I had adjusted  pretty well, having accepted that I was probably going to be permanently cold for the rest of my life. Then came that magic morning when I walked out of the front door and there was this white stuff drifting out of the sky and lying all over the ground. As a  dutiful wee  Sunday School pupil, I thought, at first, that it must be manna but it seemed to be of little nutritional value and my friends assured me that it was something called snow.

Love at the  first feather-light touch of a snowflake on my cheek.  I was half an hour late for school – this was a different world and time when we all walked there on our own with no parental security guards involved. I spent the entire day looking out of the classroom window, mesmerised by the lazy, heavy flakes as they drifted down.

Obviously, the passing years have dimmed that initial  magic for  me and I  know that the stuff can be a total pain. There’s still something special for me in that first fall of the winter. And I don’t think that I’m alone.

I took this photo of Arthur’s Seat from the Calton Hill about 3.15 pm  today. Less than half an hour to go before sun set over an Old Town that was blanketed with the first snow of the season


Moving on and  in, the hills are alive with walking watchers, waiting to watch that sunset. There are worse places to be, in my opinion.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s