Walking in a Winter Wonderland

"Snow is falling all around us, children playing having fun..."

Ok, ok, I won't pretend to be Sir Paul McCartney and break in to song...especially this one which I find seasonly (is that a word?) annoying and stays perched on your lips once you hear it at this time of year.

So how do you like the photo from the family album? On the left is me, the guy sitting on the furry thing is one of my brothers, and the furry thing is Xena - one of my brother's dogs.

Ok, for those of you who realise I'm only kidding and have not lost all coherence after ploughing in to the Christmas cheer already, and also for those of you who are Star Wars geeks, er, I mean fans like me, you will see that it is Han Solo and Luke Skywalker (the furry thing is called a Tauntaun) in a scene from The Empire Strikes Back on the snow planet Hoth. Actually it could well have been us. I have a parker jacket with a fir-trim hood similar to Han Solo's and I was out in the snow walking my brother's two big and furry Japanese Akita dogs today, coming back speckled white with snowflakes like Han and Luke in the photo.

There are so many places to go, visit and live in this world. But wherever I go and wherever I would choose to live, I cannot choose them over Christmas in England, back at 'home'. No sun, beach or tropical getaway destination can beat a freezing cold England over Christmas week. Well maybe one place could - a wooden chalet in Lapland, but that is for the The Father Christmas and his reindeer value as well as the snow. Oh, and sledging, but I can do that in England - c'mon, ten people on a huge black bin liner speeding down the hill like Calvin and Hobbes on the way to bumps 'n' bruises galore is hilarious, I don't care how much it hurts and how old you are.

Snow at Christmas is like bringing one of those Christmas cards you get to life, making it real instead of it being just a stereotype image. Making a snowman this morning with my two-year old nephew was thoroughly satisfying, even though he got bored and cold before I did. I did go back and finish it though out of principal, apart from the carrot for the nose - food shopping trip tomorrow I think. Now what I really need to make is a sled for Troy and Xena - my brother's dogs, they could easily pull me down the street; as big, powerful and energetic as they are, they would actually love it and I would get to shout "mush!" :-D

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jack frost biting at your nose..."
Sorry, sorry, I will resist the urge to break out in Christmas song again. No rocking chairs and no red, Val Doonican jumpers either, I promise.

So as Christmas approachs and I ponder if I can really be arsed to make some mull wine for everyone, I am well in to my fifteen-a-day clementine phase and I have already had a crack at the nuts (less toilet humour jokes please - I know you're dying to, I mean walnuts, brazil nuts etc...). I can't wait for the Christmas lunch and pud, followed by the Christmas day movie. I can't wait to see those old friends I usually don't get to see for most of the year and drink and be merry with them (Hmm, 'merry' being a little of an understatement I think). Oh, and I really do hope my mum doesn't buy me yet another pair of Homer Simpson socks for the umpteenth year running.

As for the snow, I'll be out in it again tomorrow to put the finishing touches to the snowman and of course to go walking in a winter wonderland with Troy and Xena.


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