Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Snow is a great leveller. Yesterday’s snow-day brought out everyone to play. The privileged and the poor, the xxxtreme sports nuts and the yummy mummys. The photographers and writers. The workers and the worked. It was amazing strolling through local Alexandra Palace watching everyone revel in the blanket of white all around us. Importantly, it was nice seeing children and teenagers act as they should once more. The snow is a great leveller. The nostalgia and novelty was enough for snowfans to throw themselves about, dodging toboggans and sleds, snowboards and snowballs and just be children again. Having fun. Enjoying themselves regardless. There was no aggyness, no pebble-core snowballs, no fighting, just a reverence. Snow is a great leveller.

The first exchange that made me think ‘Oh, that’s what rudeboys do when it snows... they don’t go shanking fools in the park, they have fun...’ went like this. It was heart-warmingly cute. Two rudeboys looking immaculate in their white Nike hoodies and tracksuits tear up the hill with toys under their arms. They are both in their teens, and usually hang around down our road going up to front windows and staring in:

TEEN1: Bruv, this snow is long yagetme.
TEEN2: Shut up cuz... when we get to the top, it’ll be real.
TEEN1: Yeah but... come on man is it safe?
TEEN2: You think you’re gonna fall you just throw yourself off.
TEEN1: So either way I fall?
TEEN2: Look, bruv, let’s get to the top. Get the best spot. Fresh powder.
TEEN1: Yah... safe...
TEEN1: Yo bruv...
TEEN2: Yes mate.
TEEN1: Does it hurt when you fall?
TEEN2: I dunno, I ain’t ever fallen. I imagine so.
TEEN1: Yeah me too. You done this before?
TEEN2: Nah... first time...
TEEN1: Is it safe?
TEEN2: We’ll find out...
TEEN1: No one else is using a potato sack as a sled though bruv.
TEEN2: Exactly... we ride in style.

The second exchange, on the same hill, came from another cross-section of Alexandra Park society. The blond teenagers with messy floppy hair and military blazers with foppish scarves all stand in a circle throwing snowballs at each other from far too close.

TEEN1: Edward, you cad.
TEEN2: Darling, you were screaming for it?
TEEN1: But did I deserve it? Did the punishment fit the crime?
TEEN2: Darling, the punishment meted out matched the crime in act and intent.
TEEN1: Babes, don’t try and be funny. I am soaking now. Mother is going to destroy me.
TEEN2: She won’t, she’ll wrap you up warm and feed you soup. In fact, can we all come for soup?
TEEN1: It depends. How are you on winter vegetable?
TEEN2: I’m not too partial to swede.
TEEN1: Swede is not a winter vegetable you barbarian.
TEEN2: I do believe school’s going to be cancelled tomorrow.
TEEN1: Wonderful. Oh, and Edward?
TEEN2: Yes?

And thus, my faith in the youth of today and tomorrow was restored, they were given a reprieved and the world was momentarily unf*cked.

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