My only ambition for 2021 is enough snow so I can build a snowman... | Blaise Tapp
Yes, there will be those who will continue to thrive while sat in front of a tiny camera and will probably make a tidy sum doing elaborate dance routines with their lockdown companions or training their Shih Tzu to balance a cheese football on the end of its nose.
For the majority of us, the next few weeks and months will be about survival – making sure that we remember to get changed most days and don’t pour Smirnoff on the Weetabix.
There will be the permanently pleased with themselves parents who will put the rest of us to shame by helping their homeschooled darlings build replicas of the Houses of Parliament out of empty granola boxes but getting out of this morass with our sanity intact, not to mention our livelihoods, will be the overriding ambition of the masses.
Now that the bar for achievements has been dramatically lowered until spring for everybody not on the frontline fighting the pandemic, I have made building a snowman being my number one goal for early 2021.
If I dwelled on this less than lofty ambition for too long I might despair at what I have become – there was a time that I was going to conquer the world (well the newspaper industry at least).
But my present goal suits the time we live in but will only work if we get some, ahem, snow.
During a spell where it has been colder than an Eskimo’s walk-in freezer, snow has fallen across large parts of the UK and beyond but not where I live.
In fact, one of the first things I was told by my new neighbours when we moved south seven years ago was ‘It doesn’t snow here very often, you know?’
I can only think that they felt compelled to furnish me with that piece of not-so-vital information because they assumed that my incongruous accent meant that I had been used to digging my way out of my frozen garden each morning before embarking on a six-mile hike to work down the pit.
The truth is that I can count on one hand the number of decent snowfalls that I have experienced in my four-and-a-half decades.
Even during the many years that I lived in places where tea was something you ate rather than drank, I missed out on the kind of snow that meant that kids would miss weeks of school, simply because they couldn’t get there.
Growing up, I was horribly jealous of friends who lived in the foothills of the Pennines, a place that proudly boasted permanent ‘road closed due to snow’ signs, while we were lucky to get more than the occasional dusting where I grew up in South Manchester.
This horribly childish sense of resentment has lived with me ever since and is not helped by social media updates from my friends in The North who cannot contain themselves whenever the white stuff appears overnight.
The shiny new sledge we optimistically bought three years ago has yet to see any meaningful action and is currently buried deep in the abyss that we call a shed.
In a year that we’d all rather forget I think it would be hugely fitting if I was able to help our youngest build his first ever snowman – I’m not talking about anything flashy like a replica of the Death Star, just a simple snowman with a carrot for a nose and two small pebbles for eyes, as I’ve not seen a lump of coal since 1989.
I don’t think many people would mind too much if heavy snowfall was a thing in my corner of the world this year due to the fact that it won’t really matter if trains are cancelled as a result.
It is pretty much all I will wish for this winter.