Sunday, 7 December 2008

When you spend a winter or two in England, you begin to rationalize the quick peeling off of clothes and abundant show of bare chests and long legs by white men and women, as soon as they experience warm sunshine on their skin.

We too have started treating the sun with deference, which is a big change from when we were in Raipur, a town close to the Tropic of Cancer or when we were in the Middle East. The sun was taken for granted out there, because it hardly ever was guilty of any absenteeism, whereas here in this island in the Atlantic we hope, we pray and watch the weather forecasts for upcoming visits by the Sun God.

Today I woke up to freezing temperatures, which no longer deters me from walking to the gym, a much needed outing to curb my ever expanding girth. As if to prove the weather warnings right, the road was slippery and covered in thin ice. All the puddles were frozen, each of the grass blades was discretely covered in thin white fur of ice. The ground was sparkling uniformly as the ice crystals caught the early morning light, the cars were glistening as were most objects standing exposed, all covered by the solid form of the wonderful compound which is the USP of our planet.

Later in the day, people stepped on the puddles making them look like they contained broken ice, but they still showed no signs of melting. The trees were bare, the air was freezing and still. There were no signs of life in the cold outdoors except for wrapped up humans scurrying back and forth from cars and doors. This is in such stark contrast to the sweltering heat of the Indian outdoors in the monsoon season, which is shared by insects, lizards, snails, tadpoles and frogs apart from birds, cats, dogs, pigs, donkeys and cows, which share our space in all seasons.

I attended my son's school concert and watched lovingly as he sang songs of Christmas in a chorus with the other children, who somehow, seemed to blur in the background, for me.

One of the songs was "I am dreaming of a white Christmas" I know that the kids are, especially after they enjoyed creating numerous snow people, in what looked like a winter wonderland, a few weeks ago. I am not so sure about myself, but...I guess it will make decorating our very first Christmas tree, more fun.

Kids have ensured we think about celebrating Christmas, (when in England, do as the English do) and worry about the gifts, which have to go underneath the tree.
Hubby and I have less scope for arguments nowadays as kids tend to rule the roost. How about you all? Are you allowed to have options like...not buying gifts? I dont think so.

So long, take care and be safe!


namrata said...

Yesterday was the last day of school for my daughter.India is not much different in the sense she was taught in school to write a letter to santa and kep the stocking and to wrap her gifts for other under the christmas tree.She faithfully came and narrated this to me witha list of gifts she wants to presesnt others and her list for santa.My task before 25th is thus set.Though kids here just know snow or ice as something in the fridge or as something to be decorated with white cotton!

nisha said...

what do non writers do. can only read and appreciate blogs, not contribute.

Susan said...

Living in the Canadian winter, I can appreciate your words. However, though we see the sun more often than in the UK winters, it is much colder. Yesterday was minus 5C. Today, the expected high is -2 but it will warm up to 8 by Monday before cooling again. Like you, we just get on with life. Otherwise, winter can be extremely boring. Our boys, especially Kris, looks forward to winter so that he can ski again. When they were younger, they would spend all day outside building snow forts.

I note that Namrata has commented on ice and the fridge. I have a Jamaican colleague, who when asked by one of his relatives in Jamaica, how cold it gets in Canada, he said" you know how cold it is in your freezer ? Well, it gets colder than that here." I think that just about sums up the winter. In spite of all this, we are very happy to be living here.


Rohini said...

Delhi winter is good which is chilly but not very cold and u get to do all the wintery things like wear winter clothes, sit in the sun which i manage to do on few sundays as my lab is open for half days on sundays also and get to eat moongfali,gajak,chikki,gajar ka halwa(though i am on diet always, do get to eat something).
work is also less as it is a healthy season so financially sick season.