As a Canadian, I should be used to snow. However, living in London has softened me considerably. When I first moved here after spending a winter in the Arctic frigidity of Ottawa, I told everyone that if I never saw snow again, it would be too soon. Five years on, though, I have to admit I do miss that unique snow-smell (if you've grown up with it, you'll know what I mean) and the quiet that falls over a city when white flakes drift through the polluted air.
Snow-covered tree on our terrace.
When the flakes started falling last night, I was sure it would all be well over by the time I awoke. But by 7 a.m. this morning, the snow was still falling and London was covered in a film of white. Perhaps because I didn't have to go anywhere, I actually felt excited -- I wanted to go explore this new world.
Street behind Notting Hill Gate.
It was strange to see this new London. Everything was bright, white and pure-looking.
Phone boxes, Kensington Church Street.
Kensington Gardens was packed with Londoners busy making snowmen, sliding down the (small) hills and throwing snowballs. There was a festive atmosphere in the air, as if we'd all been given an unexpected holiday.
But my favourite thing by far had to be the snowman built outside our local pub, The Churchill Arms. Smoking a cigar and with its very own beer tap, it embodied the high spirits of Londoners in the snow.