journal for the self-obsessed generation


White powder

Hey, last Monday, it snowed.

Not a lot, but a reasonable amount. It settled, a little, on the grass. And it wasn't exactly a blizzard, but it was pleasant to walk in, with small flakes drifting softly down.

It was the first snow of any sensible magnitude this winter, and probably the last. But I won't complain. It was pretty. And it was a fun diversion while walking home.

I learnt several things:

1. Catching snow in your mouth or on your tongue is easy. Picking a particular piece of snow as you see it fall, and catching that particular piece, is not so easy.

2. When it's been snowing for a while, you can tell the average wind direction by looking at the portion of the round lamp posts which snow has stuck to. (This doesn't work so well on lamp posts with a square cross-section, which are more common in Milton Keynes.)

3. Light snow settles easily on grass. It settles on lamp posts. It settles (in a very pleasing way) on tree branches. It settles on parked cars of whatever colour. It does not easily settle on ashphalt paths or roads, even if those are paths not frequently walked.

I also wrote my initial in the snow on a bonnet (hood, for the Americans) of a battered old red van that's always parked near my house. And you know what? By the next morning somebody had wiped off snow to remove my S. They hadn't wiped any other snow - the whole van was covered in pristine white. Just my letter was gone, apart from the top of the curve. Should I feel upset?

Two final observations.

1. Snow makes everything beautiful by covering it (litter and all), in a clean, pristine, even layer of white.

2. Despite that, people such as mys'elf still have an incredible urge to break up that evenness by making some kind of mark in it.

Does that make sense? Well... I'm not sure. Maybe it's a silly contradiction. Or maybe it's why designers value white space, but not blank paper.

Perhaps next year I'll think about it some more...


[Trying to catch up with these... just had a busy few weeks.]