I normally quite like snow, and the snow we have had this year has been unusually copious and of exactly the right quality for making snowmen and playing snowball tennis. Good fun. However today the snow has just scuppered things. Lots of things.
My brother and his family were supposed to be visiting today and we were going to take all the kids bowling. He lives in Cockermouth and at 12 noon he phoned me to say they had made it as far as Carlisle, it was unlikely they would make it to us before 2pm so could we just rendezvous at my parents' house in Livingston instead? No problem, I said. I will get home from work (yes, I am back at work, thanks for asking), scoop up the kids and head out.
I left the office and as I walked towards where my car was parked, big fat snowflakes began to fall. The kind that cover you and coat your eyelashes in seconds. By the time I was driving home, the roads were becoming a bit iffy (yes, yes, Canadian faction, we are hopeless in snow because we are not used to it and don't have snow tyres and stuff). Half an hour later at home, I phoned my mum and dad and said sorry, I am not risking driving out to Livingston in this weather. (Despite being only 17 miles from Edinburgh, Livingston is inland and always has worse weather than we do). They agreed that was sensible.
Fifteen minutes after that my mum phoned to say that the weather had worsened and they had phoned my brother to warn him. He and his family had turned back towards Cockermouth. This would have been disappointing at the best of times, since my kids love nothing better than playing with their younger cousins, but this time it is excruciating. My brother and his family fly out from the UK the day after tomorrow for Sydney, Australia, and there is every chance they will not be back. They certainly won't be back any time soon. My mum has been deprived of the last chance to see her son and grandchildren and she is beyond miserable. She managed to speak to me for about 20 seconds before choking up and handing the phone over to my Dad.