Our first real snowfall has come early this year. We’re used to a few flurries in November, a brief whiteness that doesn’t last a morning. But this is the real Deep and Crisp and Even, all over East Yorkshire. As usual with snow, it’s good and bad, depending on where you are.
Today it’s been good; we’ve had bright sunshine in between the snowfalls, so our garden and the trees behind us have looked like a Christmas card. The roads have been decidedly iffy, but we’re lucky that we haven’t had to struggle to get anywhere – being retired, there’s no boss on the phone demanding to know where we are, and why can’t we fight our way through snow and ice to get into work.
It’s still good now, well after midnight so I can’t see out to tell whether it’s snowing or not. As the song says, “Our hearts are warm, our bellies are full, and we are felling fine.” (Carousel, I think.) I’m listening to radio commentary on the England v Australia cricket match going on right now in Queensland, where they presumably have no snow – I assume somebody would have mentioned it if they had. It’s the first Ashes test match of this winter, and we have to stop the Aussies regaining the said Ashes…well if you follow cricket you’ll know why that matters, and if not, never mind. Take it from me that it does!
Nothing remarkable about this, you’re probably saying. If a crazy Brit wants to spend half the night listening to cricket, it’s no big surprise. But sometimes I find myself pausing a minute to remember just how amazing the world is nowadays. Here I’m sitting in my office in Yorkshire, listening to a radio broadcast from the other side of the world. I’m hearing the commentary, the shouts of the crowd and sometimes even the voices of the players…all in real time. The commentators, when there are gaps in play, read out emails they’re receiving from other cricket fans in different countries, and many of them like me are burning midnight oil.
And simultaneously I’m using a computer (which is about a zillion times more powerful than the computers used for the Apollo moon landings) and writing a blog-post which I’ll send off into cyberspace. Then anyone, in any corner of the world, can read it and comment if they like, even people in Queensland in between the drama of the cricket.
I’m connected to the whole wide world, in two quite different and important ways. Even now, when it’s snowing! Though the roads may get blocked, I don’t have to be cut off from what’s happening everywhere else.
Mostly we all take modern communications entirely for granted…but now and then I try to consider not only what I’m doing, but how I’m doing it. And it’s great, isn’t it?