Walking in an Irish winter-land. You should try it. Surreal and beautiful, and not all that common in this country. Coming from Canada, as I do, and seeing the national response to a bit of snow here was theatre for me. The Irish Transport Minister put out a statement claiming that taking to the roads would be a suicide mission. The Taoiseach urged the public not to risk “life and limb” by venturing out. Pat the Baker said there was an unprecedented demand for bread. He wasn’t lying. The shelves were emptied in all the supermarkets, starting with bread but followed closely by milk, and potatoes, as well as most fruits and vegetables. Except pineapples. I’m reliably informed that there were still some pineapples in Tesco’s a few days ago.
On Twitter Emma Ní Chearúil urged everyone to calm down after she went to make toast and her mother yelled, “NO! That’s the storm bread!!”
I suppose to a population not used to such wintry conditions, a bit of hyperbole isn’t misplaced, but I did find it hilarious. But then it started snowing… and snowing… then the wind came, and it started to feel like maybe “Game of Thrones” wasn’t a work of fiction after all. I’m sure I spotted zombies in the tree-line. Winter is here, in a way most inhabitants on this island have never seen, and I haven’t since I was in a country properly equipped to deal with it.
Schools and universities have closed across the country. Motorways shut down. Flights cancelled. The road to our house is impassable, resulting in the cancellation of all of our bookings. Ireland has stopped and so have we. And until life as normal resumes, we have been doing what I hope everyone has: venturing out into the blinding beauty that has visited us. If you can’t beat it, join it. It is truly magical.
Our girls have been making snow angels, in their nice, warm aran sweaters tobogganing down any vertical slope they can find and getting oh so close to making the greatest snowwoman of all time, just to have the victory snatched from them by the burning pain in their feet and hands, courtesy of the snow finding its way into their boots and mittens. A flashback to my youth that I never thought my kids would provide me with at Roundwood.
So, here we are. Frozen in, with nothing but time and gloves on our hands. We’ll get that snowwoman built, find the fastest hill and learn to live with frozen feet until it all melts away.
And although it will make paying our bills a little more difficult if that doesn’t happen soon, I think I’m ok with it. We have a wine cellar.
I shouldn’t have laughed Ireland.