I know I said yesterday, ‘no more snow’, but really, I didn’t ask for spring, not yet. But here it is – plus 5 and much warmer than that in the sun, people out walking hatless and gloveless, white piles of snow turning limp and brown, and pavements turning to slush.
The tits are singing in the trees, and the neighbour’s dog is out sniffing the air, looking for adventure. Our doors are flung wide for the first time for months, and the rugs are airing on the porch. The ice glasses that were placed carefully on the handrail in December are releasing their water from the Torne river.
Huge layers of snow are sliding off the roofs of houses and sheds. I watched a block slide off the neighbours roof, and off our wood store – you feel really pleased when you actually see it go. Unfortunately the snow on our garage roof refuses to shift, and the snow turning wet makes it heavier, so it’s harder to open the garage doors. Out in town you have to be careful where you walk. In Stockholm, where they are more health and safety conscious, they will rope off an area underneath a roof where snow might fall. Here you just have to look out for yourself, or take the usual approach to dealing with a potential avalanche (as instructed on the road through the fjäll) – limit your risk by walking fast.
It looks like April, but it’s only February. Unsure of the season, we behaved as if it was spring and went out for a walk in town. It wasn’t exactly the carefree feeling you might expect though – the pavements were like ice rinks in places. They’ve gritted them, but too early, so the grit had just sunk into the melting snow. I’m pretty hopeless on icy pavements. Despite having lived in this climate for many years I still look like Bambi on ice. Locals tend to just slide along (in their trainers) instead of walking but I haven’t mastered the technique yet.
Many’s the visitor we’ve had over the winter who has failed to make a snowman because it’s the wrong kind of snow (too dry and cold). Now’s the time for it though – it’s called ‘kram’ snow in Swedish – that’s ‘hugging’ snow. Local children this afternoon were enjoying the novelty of being able to form and carry snowballs, and fortunately hadn’t yet worked out what to do with them.
The forecast is for the warm temperatures to continue. It’s the southerly winds that are to blame, bringing in warm weather from Finland and Russia (not places you usually think of as having warm air, but compared with here, that’s warm). Another couple of days like this and people will be sitting on benches in town eating ice cream. Mark my words.