Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Flakey weather

Something is falling from the sky. Something akin to snow. (Not exactly snow in the large white dry-ish flakes of softness sense, more like a kind of opaque drifting rain - I'm sure the eskimos have a particular name for it, but the best that English could offer would possibly be sleet, and sleet always puts me in mind of driving semi-blizzard like conditions, which this certainly isn't). There's nothing very unusual about the fact that something snowish is falling in December in Csikszereda obviously, but it is unusual in that it is the first time this year.

There have been dark mutterings for weeks now as the temperature has remained stubbornly above freezing (at least in the daytime - there've been frosts at night), and no precipitation of any kind has fallen. It's been variously touted as a sure sign of global warming, that the planet is going to hell, and that something very strange is going on. However, this is my third winter here and in the first of those it didn't snow until Szilveszter (New Years Eve) either, so in my experience this is not especially unusual at all. But to listen to the locals you'd think we were all about to be swept up in some end-of-days fiery denouement.

Nearly everyone seems to agree that it's a bad thing. I am not in this camp. For me the longer winter takes to arrive, the more likely that we will have a relatvely short winter this year. After all, if winter starts at the end of December, we can really only expect to have a maximum of four months of vicious sub-minus-thirty temperatures, which can only be a good thing (at least from the perspective of the non-masochistic). If we're really lucky, it will only be three months. I recognise that for people who make their livings out of the ski season it must be problematic, but none of the moaners who have shaken their heads darkly in my direction at this terrible snow-less state of affairs rely on having a long winter for their financial well-being. I think they just like moaning. If it were normally cold and snowy, they'd probably be complaining about that too.

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