When snow, no matter how insubstantial in terms of amount, falls on Victoria, our already quiet island town quite simply shuts down. An inch of snow means at least a day off work for most of us: we are able to have fun instead.
For some of us, “fun” means making elaborate snowmen and snow women. We are well aware, as we are crafting these creatures out of wet snow, that their lives will be cut drastically short by inevitable rain so we do a really good job with them. Many of these snow creatures are just as intricate as those sand mandalas made by Mahayana Buddhist monks: they too are all too temporary.
Other Victorian’s grab whatever object is closest to them and head for the hills to try their hand at sledding. I’ve seen things that would make even the most novice of tobogganers soil their pants with laughter. I’ve seen some Victorians jump into garbage bags at the top of Beacon Hill: they never make it to the bottom unless they choose to roll. I’ve seen sleds made out of Pyrex pie plates, baking sheets and toilets, the broken shards of which are partially responsible for staining the hill with blood.
Some people like to go skootering when it snows. Victoria’s the only place in the world where you can by a set of tire chains for a moped. It is enjoyable to watch people on skooters navigate Victoria’s snowy city streets, their legs sticking straight out in case they loose their balance. These folk always seem to be wearing un-treaded rain boots.
Many of us make our way to the Pub on these days. Last year, during a two day snow storm, my wife and I, along with a couple close friends headed to the Beagle Pub to enjoy our snow day. Everyone sitting at the pub that day was smiling: even the alcoholics. It was grand.