‘So what are you going to write about this time? Snow in Prague?’ said Czechman a moment ago as he came to take away my empty mug of tea.
‘Umm, yes,’ I reply.
‘No-one will be interested.’
Oh well. I have to break the silence somehow.
Everyone knows that eskimos have a hundred different words for snow. Its only since living here in Prague that I begin to understand why. There’s the fresh, powdery stuff that you can kick up in the air like walking through those tiny little balls of polystyrene. Then there’s the kind that’s crunchy when you walk on it. You can make neat footprints in both.
Its very satisfying. Those footprints are small acts of defiance. It might be minus 5 degree but I am here. I am alive.
However, snow doesn’t just freeze, it also melts. And then turns brown or black and freezes again. I am not friends with this kind of snow. It is out to get me and make me look silly. Its Eskimo name would be Girl in Czechland slayer. This is the reason I wear my hiking boots at all times.
I don’t care what I may have said about fashion. I want to be vertical.
In my desperate mission to stay upright I find myself walking close to the walls but there lies another danger: killer icicles. These icy stalactites have made their home on a shop front in Dejvicka. Imagine the damage one of those could do if it fell on your head.
‘They don’t look very big,’ says Czechman peering over my shoulder at the screen. ‘Can’t you get a different photo?’
‘What are you talking about? They’re huge!’ I reply in a shrill tone.
What is he talking about? To an Englishwoman – or this one anyway – those icicles look menancing.
Winter here means business. There’s not much in the way of fog or smog or damp or drizzle but that’s a good thing. Czech weather may be many things but it is not ambivalent. The same might be said of Czechs themselves.
The novelty of watching snow fall hasn’t worn off just yet so long as I can watch it from the window of a nice warm – not overheated -room inside. However corny it seems, it still makes me feel like I’m in a snow dome. Wikipedia says that they have been used in modern cinema to evoke childhood nostalgia. I may enjoy raising an arched eyebrow at life but even a tough old cookie like me cannot resist the lure of a little fairytale magic sometimes.
I’m disappointed there aren’t more women in giant fur hats though. And headbands. Why focus only on keeping your ears warm when twenty percent of your body heat is lost through the top of your head? They make as much sense as socks with sandals.
This Christmas will be the first I will have spent in Czechland and the first with Czechman. We will of course be heading to the village next week which will hopefully mean plenty of time to blog and plenty of material to blog about. Will Girl in Czechland break a leg skiing down the local slope (or should I say hill) or choke to death on a rogue carp bone? What will the Village People make of plum crumble? Watch this space.
P.S Apologies to anyone still reading this for not having posted for so long. Or having replied to your (generally very kind) emails. I’ll endeavour to be better on this front now I’m feeling (a bit) better, I promise.