No Snow just Soup and the Jack Frost Handshake

The Frost by Igor Grabar, 1905. I love this picture, so magical but I can feel the cold!
The Frost by Igor Grabar, 1905. This picture is so magical but I can really feel Jack Frost nipping at my nose!

I hope I’m not going to jinx Waterford by saying this but we seem to have escaped the snow.  That’s not to say Jack Frost hasn’t shaken us firmly by the numb hand. We did experience a gentle flurry yesterday, but it never looked close to delivering the full horror of a snowstorm.  Meanwhile, back in my hometown of Swansea, they have been suffering.  That’s to say the adults have been suffering.  Unlike most people, my parents weren’t particularly concerned about bread and milk supplies.  Instead, they seemed distraught that they had forgotten onions and Dad was duly sent out to do battle with the extreme weather in the interests of securing this most valuable of vegetables for the dinner table.

I’ve since discovered my Mum has gone on a soup making spree, so now have a greater understanding of the urgency surrounding the onions.  Soup is definitely the job in these cold conditions, which reminds me – I don’t have any!  Happily, I’m not snowed in, so can make the necessary journey to source some heartwarming sustenance.  Sometimes parents do know what they’re talking about!  But, as I was saying, it’s the adults who end up gnashing their teeth when it snows.  Children are enchanted and unable to believe their luck at missing a day (or two) off school.  I should know.  I was that child.  The child, who only experienced three real snow days in her life.

Now, before you all begin a chorus of ‘aaaaahs’ I did get to build a snowman once.  My big brother helped me but I was at least ten years old at the time, possibly eleven.  That’s not the age when you completely believe in the magic of snow, when you long for Narnia to exist in your garden.  Saying that, I did manage to build two mini snowmen when I was around 8 or 9 years old and I vaguely remember being out in the snow at a friend’s house a couple of years previous to that.  I think she was attempting to build an igloo but all I remember is not being able to feel my feet.  I couldn’t have been much help!

Anyway, after the Great Snow of 2010 I’m perfectly happy to be passed over by the white stuff.  When you live in a country cottage, snow means a two week sentence of bad films, toast and the unsettling feeling that you really should tidy the house now you have the opportunity . . .Instead, I spent my weekend shopping.  Shopping in the cold weather is great.  You just need to dress up warmly.  Unfortunately, I didn’t.  I was wearing my Winter coat, but underneath, all I had on was a long sleeved top, one of those long t-shirts that might be a dress, a jumper and a pair of leggings.  Now, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but leggings really don’t cut it in this cold weather, not even when teamed with knee high socks.  To be honest, the only material that seems to work for me this Winter is fleece.  I own several fleeces, plus a pair of fleecy pyjama bottoms.  They are as far from fashion as you can get but when it’s this cold I don’t care!

Saying that, I must have cared a little last Saturday as I really was inappropriately dressed, but, in fairness I had underestimated the weather.  Luckily, my friend and I took some time out to enjoy a warming lunch at a place called McLearys in Waterford.   I had the breaded whiting, served with a delicious side portion of homemade chips.  I also had a Bailey’s coffee, one of my favourite drinks ever.  It’s got just the right amount of kick and sweetness to give you that floaty headed feeling where everything makes sense, (yes, I am a lightweight these days).  Our next stop was the Book Centre, where I discovered a seasonal tale called ‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey.  It looks haunting and fascinating with some beautiful descriptive writing.  I must get in touch with my local library to see if they have it.

Meanwhile, I’m planning a couple more creative writing classes for March and April this year.  I’ve already booked the March one, which is due to take place at Clonmel Craft Studio on Saturday March 2nd from 10-4pm.  I’m hoping to book the second workshop in Dungarvan.  I’m just waiting for confirmation from the venue.  This workshop is likely to run over the two Saturdays following Easter.  The aim will be to help people to plan and put together a short story. We will start with some simple writing exercises to get pens moving.  Attendees are welcome to come prepared with a story idea or they may like to wait and see where the writing exercises take them.  I’m looking forward to it already!  If you would like to register your interest just send an email to



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