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Snow, glorious snow...

OK, so it's snowed. Finally. Properly. Not some flimsy little layer that is wiped away the minute the shoes of humans come into contact with it, but a thick healthy blanket of the stuff - in London too! So I get dressed, put on my hat, and begin the half-hour walk down to the British Library. Some people notice that come the warm weather birds are singing, young girls are flicking their long super-flowing hair this way and that, young men are wanting to show said girls their back-flips in the park. Older people, or those with an older head, make regular comments along the lines of 'it's good for the bones...(vitamin D) if only Britain could have more sun...' and etcetera. I was thinking along those lines on my walk down Chalk Farm Road and into Camden - everyone seemed to be smiling at the still-falling snow, more than a few were rolling snowballs and lobbing them through the air, there were no buses in sight and only a trickle of cars moving at the pace of a cautious geriatric on an ice rink. And I was thinking, 'if only it could be like this more of the year...' whilst also remembering my Mum's claim that the cold was great for the complexion. Until I reach the British Library to find a huddled group of bookish types waiting outside the main gate, checking their watches, then their phones, then their watches, then their phones, then each other... then the sky. No-one was telling us anything. The gate was padlocked. Some old bird tried rattling the padlock, as though it would suddenly spring open through the magical art of intention. A few of us call the Library, glad to hear that at least the telephonist person had made the effort to get into work, although probably secretly wondering why on earth we couldn't have just stayed at home and made snowmen like most others had seemed to, instead of waiting impatiently at the Library gate. An older women who had the voice of the Daily Mail down to a tee complained bitterly about this country's national institutions lacking the spirit that got us through World War II. I nodded. 'Beaurocracy, you see, can't put a lightbulb in now without needing to fill in some manual somewhere... and now they can't open a bloody gate because of a bit of snow!' We are eventually let in, but all the reading rooms are closed, so a few of us are sat at the desk/chairs on the first floor, no doubt taking advantage only of the free wi-fi and the presence of a few others trying to write the book/thesis/Facebook status/blog. Yet whilst the closure of the reading rooms is an inconvenience, as I had spent a good hour yesterday ordering what books I would need today from the BL's online catalogue, I have to say a good disruption now and again works wonders in shaking things up a little. And if you're in the mood for a snowy setting in your fiction here's a list of snow related books featured on The Guardian last year. I would have added the obvious 'Snow' by Orhan Pamuk and The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding, and Schopenhauer's Telescope by Gerard Donovan.

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