The snow has now arrived in my area of North London so I am contemplating the usual disruption to transport, skidding cars, school closures and usual panic that seizes this city when a touch of real winter arrives. We don't cope well with snow possibly because we don't have enough experience of this type of weather conditions. I love snow in the right places, The Alps, Aspen, Norway - whatever - but ice, slush and lack of four wheel drive vehicles and tyre chains mean the cold "snap" [strange name that Weather People give to these conditions] will be hell unless you can take time off work and build snowmen.
Another strange aspect of these weather conditions is the way it brings the siege mentality of the populace to the fore. Supermarket shelves are emptied of essentials, bread, milk, eggs etc. etc. and even more than usual the Brits are discussing the weather. The one plus is that neighbours actually start talking to one another as opposed to just nodding and "keeping themselves to themselves" and help dig each other's cars out of the snow and ask elderly neighbours if they need any shopping. This is so nice to see - why can't it last? I am probably considered a "nutter" when I talk to strangers on the tube or, and this is considered very risky, actually make eye contact and smile.
Writing about winter conditions has made me drift into thoughts of my escape to Spain just before Christmas, although it did snow for one day last year [and the locals couldn't stop talking about it] it was only for one day and disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. I need suggestions for books to take with me, I have just finished the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who played with Fire and The Girl who kicked the Hornet's Nest]. If you haven't read them yet, don't be put off by the hype the books really are that good. However, now I need some equally good reads for my holiday reading - I read very quickly and will take as many books as I can fit into my baggage allowance. Please send recommendations.