It snowed in Kent this week. Primarily on higher ground and in the sort of quantities you apply icing sugar to the top of a cake to make it look pretty.
In short, there was little to see, no opportunities to make a snowman and if, like me, you lived near the coast, then you simply got a chilly drizzle of rain instead.
Yet we had weather warnings that seemed to last days. One may still be in force when you read this. Chances are you’ll look out of your window and wonder what the fuss is about.
Back in the day, this was just what you expected at this time of year. We didn’t need warnings, we were bright enough to realise that as autumn started to approach winter, the weather got colder. And if the conditions were right, cold weather could mean the white stuff.
Snow was a wondrous thing as a school child. As soon as a flake fell the hopes of an early end to the school day would reach fever pitch. Any hope of concentrating would be lost as we all stared, transfixed, at the flakes tumbling from grey skies and turning the grubby landscape a gleaming shade of white.
Prayers were mumbled throughout classrooms that the boiler would give in and a day off immediately ordered.
If the roads got bad, we all knew, and the buses were threatened, there was a chance the school would be left with little choice but to send us all home, insisting we do some study there.
We would, of course, simply build snowmen and sledge down any convenient slopes.
As a youngster, we’d all listen to the local radio when some snow had fallen overnight. I remember tuning in with fingers and toes firmly crossed in the hope of hearing my school’s name uttered as a casualty of the cold weather. This an era, of course, before the internet and social media.
What a devastating blow it was when it soldiered on and kept its doors open. How very selfish.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I felt like back in years gone by, Kent used to get a decent dollop of snow most years. These days it seems to fall in isolated pockets. Normally wherever I’m not, seems to be the rule of thumb.
Back in 1987, when I was a young, smelly and spotty teenager, I remember being driven from Ashford to Maidstone – back in the days before the M20 linked the two towns – and the road having to carve its way through six-foot-high snow drifts on either side. It looked like a film of life in the Arctic.
The fact I can remember it 36 years later tells its own tale.
Then – and this must have been the late 1990s or early 2000s – it snowed, heavily, on Boxing Day (or at least it did in Ashford). It missed qualifying as a white Christmas, but boy did it look pretty. Finally, the county looked like a Christmas card.
But since 2018 and the Beast from the East – which arrived and dumped what felt like relentless snow for several weeks – we seem to have been short-changed. That was, gulp, five years ago now.
Is it global warming? Possibly. Is it a bit of a shame? Certainly. Is it perhaps fortunate at the moment given how expensive it is to turn our heating on? Absolutely.
But snow does provide a brief respite from the relentless gloom of winter. And, given it's so early in the ‘snow season’ fingers crossed we might get a decent helping this year.
We all get excited – unless you are a miserable old sod – the weather forecast becomes essential viewing and we all go back to living the dream that our schools or places of work might be shut for the day.
So forget what I said earlier – bring on those weather warnings.