My elderly patient looks at me earnestly (he’s not called Ernest – that’s just his general demeanor) – “It’s too cold to snow Doctor” he opines with all the sagacity of one who has seen more cold winters than I’ve had, well, hot dinners. We survey the sky together – the clouds are heavy, black (and pendulous) the effect enhanced by the ubiquitous elderly-person lace curtain hanging limply at the window. His carer nods in agreement.
I look out at the icy pavement – I have already almost fallen foul of this – gingerly stepping out of the car to my feet, I slid gracefully toward the gatepost managing to save myself at the last second. Thank goodness the carer was there – at least she could have ‘phoned my GP to request a home visit had I ended up on the concrete.
Can it really be too cold to snow? Ever? I mean, I’m no expert in meteorology but it seems to me that there’s lots of snow in, say, Antarctica and it’s significantly cooler there than it is here in North Yorkshire. This is one of those problems I’ve pondered since childhood – you know the sort – it’s up there with: “Don’t be ridiculous, you know very well why you have to have your hair cut for Christmas” (I still don’t) or “Of course you have to have bread and butter with your fish fingers” (likewise).
One of the inherent problems of the “it’s too cold to snow” argument is my astute observation that when it does snow, the air temperature seems to be significantly cooler than when it’s hot and we’re smothering children in Piz Buin and standing in queues at ice cream vans. However, my patient (who’s not called General Demeanor either – that’s just how he appears) is 92 and I’m not going to argue with him – not least because his hearing aid’s currently whistling a passable rendition of “Colonel Bogey” and he’d never be able to make out what I’m saying anyway. “You’re right, but it does look overcast, doesn’t it?” I venture – loudly. His carer nods in agreement again.
With any luck, now that we’re safely delivered of January and striding through the icy wastelands of February we can contemplate better weather to come. Disappointingly, just when you’re out of the snow season and Spring teases you with a few warm days you’re into April showers. Funny how it’s never too wet to rain.