I’m (Dave) writing this blog at the end of the 3rd day of 2018. With the USA suffering with temperatures of -37 degrees and some states already having more snow fall in December than they usually get across a normal winter season, I thought that I would share my thoughts on the delicious white stuff…
I thought that we were set for some snow in early December when temperatures here (Surrey, UK) went to -7 degrees but nothing came… then, just before and after Christmas, parts of north England and Scotland got some decent snow covering but all we got was sleet and rain.
Although the ground is sodden from the recent rain, I’m hopeful, in the next month or so, that we’ll get some snow, and not that wet snow, proper fluffy thick snow that you can make snowmen (or should that be snowpeople nowadays?) and snowballs with!
Although unable to see much nowadays, I’ve great memories of playing in the snow as a kid. Back in my home village (Langley, near Maidstone for anyone that knows it) in the 80s we seemed to have snow every year. I particularly remember the snow we had in the 1986/7 winter when the village was cut off due to 8ft snowdrifts covering all of the roads in and out of the village. There are photos of us as kids standing on the tops of drifts which were covering cars and hedges and of a bungalow that had icicles that fell from the gutter to the floor. At one particular point we could see in to the upstairs of the local pub!!
I love (and miss) the picturesque scenes as the layers of snow build. Its softness as it falls is unlike anything else and the crunch you get when walking on freshly laid snow can only put a smile on your face. I particularly like how peaceful everywhere goes after snowfall and the way sound is muffled due to the hard surfaces being covered with natural insulation. And isn’t it amazing how people seem to talk to each other more when we have snow??
However, enough reminiscing… as much as I want it to snow, I know that, this time with little vision and no Errol to guide me, a thick layer of snow is likely to be a massive hindrance to my mobility. Many vision impaired people call snow ‘Blind person’s fog’; the reason being that snow takes away all of the tactile surfaces and references similar to how fog reduces what a sighted person can see. My white stick (long cane if being correct) is pretty much useless in snow so I’ll have to adopt a different sweeping technique or maybe use 2 canes as ski poles!! In addition to the problems with getting around, I also really struggle, particularly during daylight hours, with the glare that snow produces. I’ll definitely have my polarised sunglasses on if I get the opportunity to get out in some snow this year!!
So as much as I want the snow to come this year, maybe it would be nice for it to come on a Friday evening, enable us to play and build snowpeople for a day or two and then to go and allow life to continue as usual on Monday morning.
Vicky – It struck me whilst reading Dave’s post, how sensory weather is – the sound and feel of rain, snow, wind and even sun.
On another note I completely agree with the last part Dave – as I now need to drive my car to work every day – the thought of snow during the week is just a pain. However I do have some great memories of when my kids were little (and I only worked locally part-time) spending time with them on our great ski slopes (ok only the local park) with loads of other people from their local school tobogganing and sledging – with some kids even attempting snow boarding. We also used to go out for walks in the evening dragging the kids along on sledges – we ruined a few plastic sledges that way!! Now my kids are older, I’m sure they’d appreciate snow during the week for a few days off school a and college – but my request is with Dave for snow at the weekend only please!!
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.