Wednesday 6 January 2010

Enjoying the Snow

from my trusty guide Something to Do.

For tobogganing you need wintry weather, snow, a slope and a sledge.
Or if you like, you can use a tray.
They then give comprehensive instructions for building a sledge. 
As well as the timber you'll need 7 feet of strip steel and some 
beeswax to speed up the runners. 
(Nothing in this book is for the faint-hearted.)

(Not very p.c I was published in 1966)
Eskimoes are contented people, very good-natured and generous to visitors. They have enormous appetites and two Eskimoes sitting down together can eat a whole raw seal.
They believe that if you scold a child his ears will grow too large, so they never punish their children, but pet them instead. The children grow up to be very kind and affectionate. They have a very complicated language, and use one word where we would use a whole sentence.
'He wants to find someone to build him a house.'
A skilled Eskimoe takes less than three hours to build a snowhouse 
for his family. 
He covers the inside wall with skins and makes the bed from a shelf of packed snow

 Followed by a set of instructions for building an igloo.

This is surprisingly specific and involves choosing a Prisoner who goes away leaving clear tracks in the snow. The Prisoner has the count of one hundred to arm himself with as many snowballs as possible, and then to hide 
at some vantage point from where he can bombard his pursuers.
There are rules about what the pursuers are allowed to do while trying to capture him.

Nowadays snowball fights are the subject of serious debate in the media.

 Calvin and Hobbes There's Treasure Everywhere by Bill Watterson

A Winter Picnic
...if it is far away, you will have to go by bus or car or bike, or train (by pony if you are very lucky) and take with you the food and drink and some dry sticks and paper to start the bonfire.
 I have just attempted what should have been a ten minute journey to collect my son from a friend's house tonight with barely an inch of snow on the ground and had to turn back after half an hour having got no further than the end of my road.

We're just not made the same way anymore.


  1. You come up with the most interesting tidbits ... and no, we're not made the same way anymore ...

  2. It would appear that fashion trends in the Artic Circle are about 100 years behindhand!