So, the snow of last week is but a distant memory, and even though the weatherman is teasing me with the faint possibility that we might have more later today, I know it won't be anything like that last lot. Am I alone in feeling just the slightest bit sad about that?
It's not like I enjoy being cold or anything. I hate being wet. And I detest driving on snow. In fact, more of a 'city' city-dweller than me, it would be hard to find. But there was something about last week's snow that took me past that 'oooh, it's cold and wet, let's stay inside with hot chocolate and old movies' zone.
Maybe it was how purty London looked. The snow hid all the chewing gum on the pavements and the attractive bags of pooh left by the oh-so-considerate dog walkers next to the trees (I never understood that, by the way. Surely, if you can bring yourself to put the pooh in a bag, you can bring yourself to put it in the nearest bin?), the schools were closed and the streets and parks were full of happy shrieking children.
Or maybe it was that when we first got out into the garden we were exactly that; first. The snow came up to the Boys' knees and it was wonderful to watch them negotiating it. They've never had that, you see. Even though we've taken them to the Alps a couple of times, the snow in the resorts has always been, well, 'managed'; they've never been lucky enough to have been there when the snow was freshly fallen.
It could, of course, have been the snow itself. We never get snow like last week's in London; fluffy, dry, voluminous. It was almost too dry to use for snowmen and snow balls, as opposed to what we normally get ('normally' as in once every 4 or 5 years); wet, slushy, melting almost as soon as it hits the ground. Not really worthy of the name 'snow' to be honest. 'Frozen rain' or 'slush puppie mush' would be more appropriate.
But no, I don't think it was any of those things, no matter how nice they were.
What I really think did it for me was the fact that I got to wear my ski trousers. How sad is that? Let me explain.
We're not going skiing this year, and that's OK. We did the maths, you see, and worked out that for the price of one week in the Alps we could afford 2 holidays elsewhere, and given the current financial climate, well, it was a no-brainer. So I'm ignoring the fact that I love to ski (even though I'm not very good at it). I'm ignoring the fact that even when I can't ski, I just love being in a mountain resort in the winter with it's blue skies, it's crisp air, and beautiful mountains. I'm ignoring the fact that I won't get to stuff myself with lardy carbohydrate-ridden dishes (tartiflette, anyone?) feeling ridiculously self-righteous about that because I just spent, oh, 10 minutes exerting myself between lifts, so I DESERVE it.
But I have to admit, that the whole ski trouser-wearing excuse that presented itself last week proved too much for me, and as soon as I realised we were dealing with more than a scant scattering of the white stuff, I literally scampered to the storage box where we keep all that stuff to pull them out. Why? Well, they're practical. They're comfortable. They're black (my favourite colour). They hide a multitude of sins.
And most of all?
In this post Christmas, winter-dark, comfort-eating couple of months, they are the only item of clothing I own that have an elasticated waist.
Aaaaand - relax.