Do I attempt an impossibly unpleasant journey into work, made even more unbearable by the unnatural bonhomie that will doubtlessly accompany it as a Churchillian spirit of Dunkirk pervades the usually comforting anti social British commuter mentality, or do I just struggle to the local shop to replenish cigarette supplies and milk?
The latter will undoubtedly ruin a decent pair of boots but does have some reward; the former merely ruins the boots and will do little to improve my humour.
The only thing that affords me a smile as I look at my Maldivian island wallpaper on the laptop is the thought that some people are attempting to get to a working airport having paid a not inconsiderable sum for the privilege of going to play in more of the same, with a mountain backdrop.
I confess I am not attracted to sports that necessitate the putting on of clothes, nor does the idea of careering down a snow covered mountain with planks of wood on my feet appeal. Snow apparel is not a good look for the vertically challenged, no matter how thin. Even the diminutive Kylie manages to resemble a Michelin X family member, albeit a pocket sized distant cousin when attired in a designer puffer jacket and Ugg boots.
The cynics out there are now saying ‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!’ I assure you broken legged adrenalin junkies, tried it I have. Three winters in Norway (where you have to ski to the shop for the milk and ciggies and they don’t even bother with bonhomie), have convinced me that if I never see white stuff again, it will be too soon.
I remember one Christmas spent on the slopes. An idyllic mountain cabin, well three actually, with a shared somewhat larger communal lodge complete with bar and log fire, four families sharing the white experience; and me, fourteen, short, mousey and hardly svelte, with a huge crush on a friend’s older brother. Struggling into my black and white puffer look, (it was the sixties and Quant ruled supreme) you can imagine my mortification when I discovered that a) I didn’t look like Twiggy and b) the first spot of puberty had decided to erupt!
Crossing from our cabin to the main lodge I fought for oxygen as the hairs in my nostrils froze and stalactites formed from the drizzle of a receding cold.
The final nail in my romantic coffin was the arrival of ‘Janey’ tall and dark and of model proportions. To make matters worse the outfit she wore was pale blue without an insulating roll in sight.
Needless to say the object of my affections barely cast an acne’d glance in my direction as he chased down the slopes after the svelte black swan (OK, pale blue but to me she was Odile) while I crossed my planks of wood on the nursery slopes attempting to snow plough with all the sophistication of Robert Maxwell trying to get back into an inflatable.
The evenings were worse. Not for me the cool glass of gin and tonic that ‘Janey’ swirled glamorously in her slim blood red nailed fingers, no my reward was alcohol free Egg Nogg, a drink dreamed up by sadists its sole purpose to add fuel to teenage pustules.
No, winter sports are not for me, amend, snow and cold are not for me. As I look into the garden and see shrubs and trees no longer elegantly draped as a minor thaw causes the snow to clump in unattractive blobs on miserable branches ensuring the fauna now resembles evil statues from a Stephen King novel, as I look at the cat despairing of ever eating again…he knows I will not play the hero for anyone, even if Tesco is within walking distance, as I contemplate throwing myself under the Gatwick Express…foolish idea it won’t be running fast enough to do any serious damage, I consider the deceit of literature.
No matter how many furs she had on Lara must have hated that Landau and Dickens has a lot to answer for.