The Quietness of Snow

Simplicity coating the world with a delicate breath,

White clean brightness

Filled with an infinite microscopic jewel of complexity.

Floating and light and ephemeral and gentle.

A bringer of child like joy.

The quietness of snow

There is something magical about a world transformed by snow isn’t there? Today I have spent my time wandering up in the woods – The Vienna Woods. Its my half term break and I have been here all this week.

 Oh if you are wondering about the images, they are not from my strolls in the woods! I borrowed them from Mr Day! He took these in the Breacon Beacons a couple of years ago. 

The days are cold, but bright. It has been on record as the coldest January for thirty years in Vienna. Two weeks ago, the Danube was frozen and people were skating on it! Fortunately by the time I had arrived, the temperature had begun to warm up and has been mostly around zero degrees! 

Coming from the England, I have never really experienced extreme cold, until I spent time here. Here the cold ravages your senses and batters your head, while in England cold weather pinches and annoys.  It is so interesting having spent time in Austria, to compare the weather experiences of both countries. The English do seem to have an obsession with weather, and while it does seem to be getting more extreme, I do not think English weather is unique. For example, last summer I was travelling home by train on an exceptionally hot day for the UK. Temperatures soared to 34 degrees Celsius and you would have thought the world had ended. The train system was in chaos. Rails had buckled in the heat and everything was, as a precaution, travelling at a reduced speed. In Austria it was 30 plus degrees for several consecutive weeks and nothing melted or buckle except perhaps me! 

Maybe the key to the English mentality for weather is the fact that we have a lot of it. By which I mean, one minute it’s raining, the next the sun is shining, then it’s blowing a gale. The English know planning a barbecue is the kiss of death to any nice sunny spell and that rain can last for days, so you always take a coat.  I bare the scares of freezing, wet family holidays in Scotland – sitting on a beach waiting for the ‘morning’ fog to lift, only to realise it was not the ‘morning’ type fog, but the ‘I am here all day’ variety. 

In comparison, sunshine sticks around in Austria, sometimes for several weeks at a time. Extremes do come, this winter the case in point, but the weather is more stable. So, if it’s cold, it’s very cold, but for weeks at a time. So you adapt and adjust to a routine. When it rains, it rains for a day or two, then magically it is dry within a few hours of the rain stopping.  Summers are hot for months, not weeks or even days. So here in the summer I regularly go places without a jumper and now own and use three pairs of shorts! In all my time living in the Uk, I have never own so many pairs of shorts. There was just no need for them. 

Is one place better than the other? Not necessarily. Each come with their benefits, pleasures and challenges. However I must admit to enjoying consistently long hot summers and being able to need three pairs of shorts.