The greetings of the season to all of you! Well, the snow arrived yesterday to the UK with predictable chaotic results.
Normally I’d be absolutely delighted, because I’m a sucker for snow and like nothing better than to get out there and build weird snowmen. In past years I’ve done an Easter Island head, a giant teddy bear, a great white shark and something that was supposed to be a Chinese lion dog but went somewhere awry along the way. I also attempted an actual-size horse, but the snow turned powdery halfway through and I couldn’t get its legs to stay on.
However, this year I attempt to fly out of the country tomorrow (December 29th) so I can’t help but wish the roads had remained dry and clear until after I go wheels-up from Stansted.
One place they don’t have trouble with the cold weather is Harbin, which is the capital of Heilongjiang province in northern China. The reason for this is that for the past thirty years they’ve been holding the annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, so they not only cope well with the freezing conditions, but they positively relish them. And one day I’ll go there to see these magnificent sculptures for myself.
Some are carved out of snow, others built from blocks of ice which allows coloured lighting to be place inside. Either way, it looks fascinating and an experience not to be missed.
Maybe I should add going to the 2016 festival - the 2015 one is almost upon us - to my bucket list. Instead this year I’m off to foreign climes to get my head down and concentrate on some serious scribbling. Can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year.
So, every good wish for Health, Luck and Happiness to everyone in 2015.
This week’s Word of the Week, my last of 2014, is chionophobia, meaning an extreme dislike or fear of snow. The word originates from Greek chion meaning snow and phobos meaning fear, aversion or dread.