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NEWSFLASH! Snow improves safety!

I arrived home tonight to a dark, cold flat. The third power cut so far this year.

Realising that grumbling about it was unlikely to restore the power any more quickly, I tripped over, then fed, the cats, then groped about for camera and tripod and headed back to the park for a spot of night-time photography.

And this is the interesting thing that I’d noticed on our earlier, post-cuppa-at-Mum’s, excursion to the park: the snow makes visibility almost as good as in daylight.

I love everything about the snow. I love the crunch underfoot. The way it squidges in the hands. The way it sparkles in the dark. The way it makes even the humble post box  aesthetically pleasing. And, most of all, the happy effect it has on humans.

Delighted with the final arrival of snow to our seaside town, Lexi and I ventured out yesterday for a bit of a trek. We encountered neighbours challenging one another to sled races down streets rendered safe by being impassable to traffic. There was copious snowman building, and I’m certain there were far more nods, smiles and Hellos! than one normally encounters on a stroll along the front.  One chap, snapping the white sands on one of those fancy-dandy laptop thingamies, walked over specifically to chat to me – and he didn’t even have a dog! (Usually any chatting happens over the bottom-sniffing antics of our mutts.)  The gentlemen (of the Silver Surfer generation) was keen to share his delight of the transformation of our beach. He told me he planned to share the pictures (‘you can do it with just a click!’) with friends who had recently been boasting about their own snowy shores.

Completing my list of things I love about the snow – is that safety element. I’ve already mentioned children and families playing safely in the streets. Road safety generally is improved. Anyone bold enough to take the car out is crawling along in first gear; averaging 10 mph.

But where I really noticed it – the safety element – was over the park, in the dark. This time of year I’m always walking Lexi in the dark. It’s usually pretty black over our favourite park. She has a flashing collar so I can spot her as she chases all the wonderful smells. I never do feel unsafe. I fully subscribe to the belief that fear of crime enormously dwarfs the reality. I don’t expect to find boogymen behind every tree. However, the carpet of snow gave the park an astonishing level of visibility. Should there be any boogymen, it would be tricky for them to find places for lurking, or even for Skulking with Intent.

I keep seeing comments and news posts about the Terror of the Snow! But it’s not all that bad, is it?  Certainly my experience has been nothing but Brilliant!  (Although, I did, unfortunately, step in some well concealed dog-leavings, leading to an embarrassing conversation with a fellow park patron: ‘Do you work with horses? I think I smell manure…’  But that’s another story. We’ll call that one ‘Shit Happens’.)

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