This winter, Milwaukee has received 100 inches of snow. They've had no snow days.
Last Monday, Canterbury received one inch of snow. Snow day.
Either the English freak about the slippery driving conditions of one inch or they're so infatuated by snowfall they can't possibly do anything but stare. Whatever it was, students went wild.
Hundreds of kids in our apartment community gathered on their front lawns making snow men, raced through the streets heaving snow balls at strangers or pushed boulders of packed snow to the front door of the convenience store and left it there.
My roommate and I headed out to the football fields where dozens of students were snowball fighting or building snowmen. We decided to build an igloo. Like the kind from Pippy Longstocking, except we didn't make chocolate cake and swing in circles singing Christmas carols with monkeys on our shoulders.
It was perfect packing snow, and we were able to build the igloo about five feet high. About eight first-year British boys and one short bossy girlfriend came over and asked to help. They got into the spirit of igloo building, discussing the dynamics of where to fit snow, what kind of snow to use, and how to properly construct a roof (one did it with no gloves but claimed he didn't need any because he was "from the mountains").
Zoe scrupulously building the igloo
The girlfriend stood around saying, "Boys, you've got to use soft snow because it's more malleable. "
One replied, "Stop using posh words. None of us know what malleable means."
She told us the boy's concentrated snow building efforts just goes to show how all boys are 12-year-olds at heart. True, but I think snow days bring out everyone's 12-year-old. I fanatically ran down the street yelling to my other roommates, "We're building an igloo with British kids and it's really big! Come!"
Our helpers also said it rarely snows in Canterbury, and we were lucky. Oh yeah, I really miss the 84.4 inches of snow in Milwaukee.
After an hour the boys gave up, and so did we. The best part of building something is destroying it, which we did, gleefully, in a crash into the igloo and fall awkwardly with your crack hanging out way. But it was a nice igloo, Pippi would have appreciated it.
We walked home through the snow, grabbed some Ben & Jerry's Caramel Chew Chew Ice Cream (or just I did), and snuggled into our Swedish roommate's double bed while he was gone to watch some Arrested Development on a small Mac computer. A great Canterbury one-inch snow day.
Final unfinished product