I spun round to see a couple of giggling kids wielding snowballs. Immediately, I ducked behind a car, scooped up some snow and fired one back. It soared away to the right, way off target. I pulled a face, the kids grinned back, and so began several hilarious minutes of snow-flinging in which I did eventually manage to get a few shots on target (though the youngsters were way better). Then suddenly I realised: what on Earth were we doing? How DARE we enjoy the snow when, as all the media is telling us today, it's costing the economy MILLIONS OF POUNDS?!
Here's a two-minute poetic explanation, filmed in the snow yesterday, with the text below (some of you may have heard this before; it was great to finally get to film it in the appropriate weather!):
A billion pounds so far, apparently
Today I awoke into a bright, white, living nightmare.
I stared, horrified, as the fat flakes settled gently
On my driveway and lawn
Topping each gatepost with a fluffy white fez
Transforming the hedgerow into an indigestible
And I cried “Oh my God!
What about the economy?”
As I walked to the park I stared with mounting panic
At the parked cars adorning the street
Each coated three inches deep
Or with patches swept clean
Arsenals for snowball fights
I almost wept to think of the petrol not being burned
Of the mindless tasks not being performed
In offices thirty miles away.
In the park, it only got worse.
Children and adults were laughing together
Whole streets united in play
Great snowy constructions were rising from the ground
As the treacherous flakes continued to fall
Ramps, forts and igloos,
A menagerie of assorted snow-beings
Icy sculptures of ethereal beauty
Or lumpy majesty
My head went light and I struggled not to faint
At the thought of all that creativity
Hard work and productivity
Not being spent on the tedious administrative tasks
And the learning of pointless facts by rote
So vital to the functioning of a modern economy.
A newly fostered sense of community
Of shared experience and humanity
And the kind of childlike wonder
That reminds us that it’s good to be alive
Is all very well
But it’s not going to revive the flagging FTSE 100 share index now, is it?
I went back home to get my snowplough
They’ll thank me for this one day.