Kiruna’s Snow Festival – if you search for it you can read about the winter wonderland and the fun to be had at the festival. The winter and wonderland bit are true of course.

I wouldn’t want to run it down. The reindeer rides look fun, and every year the snow sculpting competition results in some weird and wonderful works of art, as well as some clumpy, uninteresting blocks of hacked-at snow.

If you’re into snowboarding you can catch some fancy footwork displays, and if you’re into snow scooters you can admire the ones lined up in the town square. You can get a burger from ‘Empes’ (always a pleasure, even if, like me, you don’t actually want to eat the burger) and you can watch the children larking around in the snow maze playground below town.

Then, the highlight of the occasion, you can watch the snow clearing competition – machine pitted against machine, 30 cms of snow moved in an hour – it’s a tense but exciting battle. It’s fun for all the family, as they say, at Kiruna Snow Festival.

Still, despite all these activities, at the end of the day – and the end comes fairly quickly at this time of year – the festival is a winner because of its main ingredient, snow.

I noticed today, clearing snow from the driveway in our garden, that the snow coming down is the best, most beautiful, most luxurious snow we’ve had all winter. It’s soft, it’s light, it’s smooth. As you push a sled it ripples ahead of you like moving water, and then it settles again in mounds like whipped cream.

It’s the Snow Festival and the organisers have specially ordered snow that feels like silk pyjamas.