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February 2010
 
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Sun, Jan. 4th, 2009 12:00 am
Call this cold? This is nothing!

42CommentReply

kineticfactory
kineticfactory
this is not your sawtooth wave
Sat, Jan. 3rd, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)

When I moved to the UK, I was expecting it to be snowy all winter, with the sort of conditions in which children could make snowmen and have snowball fights, were they not all confined to playing XBox games indoors out of fear of paedophiles/gangs/&c. I was quite surprised that you only ever get a light dusting of snow, once or twice a year if you're lucky, in London, and it's always gone by midafternoon. But still, one sees old-fashioned Christmas cards and picture books with images of kids in woollen mittens and hats ice skating, making snowmen, tobogganing, and so on. I wonder where they're from. Did Britain really have white winters during Victorian/Edwardian times (to which most "timeless" images of childhood in the English-speaking world belong)? Are these images originally from America/Canada/Germany? After all, Christmas as we know it is a largely German idea, brought over with Queen Victoria, so why not "winter" (in all its snowiness) itself?

(In Australia, winter is like a British autumn, Christmas is in the midst of a summer heatwave, and snow may only be found on a few high mountains which constitute the country's ski resorts, so the whole idea of snow seems vaguely mythological. Hence Australians in Britain tend to get inordinately excited the first few times they see snow.)


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