Frozen over


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow - is a wonderful 1940s song, most often played at Christmas. But, last week here in Prague I once again popped it onto the CD player. In fact, I pulled out all the Christmas and holiday carols, figuring 'why not'? I wonder if you can guess the reason.

Snow, and lot's of it. If it were before Christmas, this would be wonderful. But, it's March.

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we've got no place to go, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow"

- from Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow (by Monroe, Cahn, Styne)

To borrow a line from fantasy writer George RR Martin: "Winter is coming". But, in Prague, it arrived a long time ago, and it isn't showing any signs of going away. Back in December, it was charming, and Prague is stunning beautiful when covered in a fresh layer. You kind of pretend you're Mozart in that scene from Amadeus where he skips past the market on his way home, a crispy razor-thin layer crunching ever so slightly under his boots.

That razor-thin layer used to be the norm, but no more. Just last Sunday, everyone in the country woke up to a Narnian blizzard! Outside there were twenty centimetres of fresh... well, you know. I can't even say it. I had been planning on taking out the mountain bike, not watching the neighbours revive Frosty the snowman. The window panes were glazed over. Unbelievably, some people were shovelling their walks.

I stayed at home, and put on the Christmas carols.

Maybe I exaggerate, but this can't go on. We're just not used to this much. There is dog doo on the corner that has been frozen there since December 27th.

Blame the snow.

Even the country's most famous folk singer, Jaromir Nohavica, is now in desperation: he has now released a song calling snow 'bile svinstvo' - 'white gunk'. Some Praguers even held a mock protest in the capital demanding the mayor "kick winter out".

How do other people put up with this? (I knew once, when I lived in Canada, but I forgot!). I wonder whether some of the northern indigenous peoples, who apparently have dozens of different expressions for the word 'snow', could come up with something describing Prague's newest brown slush.

So, let it snow - the song performed by such crooners as Bing Crosby and Dean Martin - it has been pointed out - is not actually about Christmas. It's a love song about poor weather allowing the protagonist to prolong a sweet winter tryst. Within context - I imagine a long winter day and night - and it works.

But, here that "tryst" would have long since have turned into a long-term relationship, followed by marriage and children, kids at college, mid-life crisis, new lover, and a new Porsche, divorce, reconciliation and rediscovery of sex at sixty.

In short, please, this has gone on too long. Somebody, anybody: "send no more snow".