As the boring westerlies finally triumph, today’s snowfall may be the last for many of us, for a while.

Herewith then, Elegy for a Blizzard:

For it has lightened the gloom of post-Christmas blues with gleaming pristine whites.

For it has stilled the endless, stressful rush with cocooned morning and night-time silence.

For it has made our children run from computer and TV screens in favour of sledge, snowman, snowballs and simple, staring wonder.

For it has given hard-pressed parents and chance to stand and chat to neighbour and stranger alike as the younger ones sledge and mess around – outside, open and free.

For it has sent off to Accident and Emergency the fallen and the bashed who are not also the drunk and the violent for once.

For it has allowed us the annual spectacle of we TV reporters hatless and unumbrella’d, to depict it all as if it were Stalingrad.

For it has forced the argument beyond doubt that fewer planes must fly to Heathrow – not more.

For it has shown us Coleridge’s “secret ministry” of frost has moved the night of a waxing moon to wild magic.

For it has made people drive from Oxford and back for a few precious hours of turn-up-and-ski on the Pennine pistes.

For it has reminded us that sometimes we do not dictate – but must adapt and follow.

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