Read Amid The Winter’s Snow

An Abby Wright illustration of a women reading a book outside in the snow

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Me again! Back for yet another blog of the book variety, although with a few other things thrown in as well, as I’m sure you expect given that I do tend to waffle on. And we have had some attempt at snow today. We have had that very British form of wintery weather called “trying to snow”. For the benefit of any readers I may have in Canada, the northern states of the USA or parts of northern Europe, including Scandinavia, I must explain Trying To Snow, as it’s not a concept you would understand. Your countries get snow. Proper snow. As in snow up to your eyeballs preventing people from getting to work or school. That sort of snow.

I, however, live in the United Kingdom. When we get what passes for snow, it is VERY feeble compared to the sort of snow you’re accustomed to. It is usually, at best, a light sprinking. More often than not, what we get is sleet, which is rain and snow at the same time, so any snow never sticks. However, as we are not prepared for snow here in the UK, even that light dusting of snow causes people to overreact!

The other thing is, that this Trying To Snow thing seems to have happened a bit earlier than usual. Normally, when Britain gets snow, it happens at the end of January, around the time of the 4th round of the FA Cup. Thus, it is a fortnight too early for Trying To Snow! No wonder it’s such a pathetic attempt round here! Not that I want any snow, and certainly not on that final weekend of this month, as my lads are at home to Wigan in the FA Cup, and also it’s Chinese New Year that weekend, so I was hoping to go to the match on the Saturday and into town on the Sunday to celebrate the Year of the Rooster!

Anyway, at this time of year, the cold weather, and any snow you might get, is a perfect excuse to snuggle up with a good book. See?! Bear with me, we do get on to books eventually, lol! My niece is enjoying her Roald Dahl books, by the way. She is now getting into some longer books than she’d previously read, though, so she’s at the stage where you may need a bookmark because you might not read it all in one go. Then again, Charlotte does seem to take after me, so the chances are that she is very capable of reading a book in one sitting if she is really enjoying it!

So, what to read when the north wind doth blow and we shall have snow? Do you go for wintery books to match the weather, or do you go for something with a warmer setting? You could decide to read The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo, but then again The Saffron Trail, by Rosanna Ley would be a better choice, transporting you to the souks and medinas of Marrakech, Morocco, and some distinctly warmer temperatures than we’re having here right now. Actually, I might get back to that and get on with it. It would have the advantage of reminding me of when I was in Marrakech in November!

Tagines. Saw a load of those in Marrakech, and had plenty of meals cooked in them! I had previously thought tagine meant “stew” or “casserole” but the tagine is the cone-lidded vessel the meals are cooked in, on a charcoal-fuelled device along similar lines to a barbecue. Yes, most of the meals do resemble stews, but they are known as tagines after the cooking pots they’re made in, and often served up in. As well as the food and the winter sun, the fact that you don’t have to alter your watch if you’re coming from the UK is also a big plus! Morocco is on the same time as us, being directly south of the United Kingdom. The one slight issue to be aware of is that you can’t take their money in or out of their country. But it’s not exactly a major problem.

See? You don’t just get book reviews and recommendations from me, you get travel advice and recommendations, too! Get your arse to Morocco! Go and visit Jemaa El-Fna Square in Marrakech! You’ll feel so good checking it off on List Challenges when you’re going through the travel lists and it’s one of the places you’ve been. It is one of those famous squares, it’s on a lot of to-do lists. Anyroad, back to books…

I was saying that you might want some books set in warmer climes to help you take your mind off the damn snow, wasn’t I?! That’s how I ended up wittering on about Morocco, lol! Others might say, however, that reading about warmer settings would just be rubbing it in that you’re not somewhere hot and sunny, you’re stuck indoors in some chilly part of this planet, shivering your wotsits off! If it’s cold outside, you might as well read books set in cold climates.One of the books on my never-ending TBR pile is Land of the Midnight Sun, by Alexander Armstrong, a non-fiction account of his Arctic adventures. Yep, that’s the guy who presents the quiz show Pointless on BBC1! Well, one of the guys who presents Pointless. Not Richard Osman, he’s the one at the computer, who gives out all the stats and facts… I mean the guy who actually presents the show and asks the pairs of contestants for their answers.

Ooh, I need to catch up with Pointless, not seen today’s yet. Yesterday’s was great, and the two ladies who got to the final won the jackpot by correctly guessing that Henrik Larsson was one of the players who’d scored at least one goal during the 2000 European Championships. He had, and no-one from the 100 people surveyed had said his name, so he was a pointless answer. One of the girls admitted she knew nothing about footy, but her boyfriend was a massive Celtic fan and he’d advised her that if a football question came up, she should try Henrik Larsson as an answer, so she did so, in the final, and won the money!

I like Henrik, we had him on loan for a couple of months, this time of year ten years ago. Although he didn’t really play enough Premier League games to qualify for a medal, I’m pretty sure Sir Alex Ferguson had a discretionary medal sent to him when we won the league that May. He was at Helsingborgs, in his native Sweden, but at this time of year, you can’t play footy due to all the snow – yeah, we’re back to the white flaky stuff again – so their season runs from around March or April until about November of the same year. As he waited for his new season to start, Fergie got him to come to us on loan for a couple of months!

It IS snowing now. Actual proper snow. Not trying to snow, as was the case earlier today! I mean seriously large white flakes of celestial dandruff! As this is the case, perhaps I’d better call it a day with this blog and make myself another mug of tea!

What do you like to read when it’s cold outside? Books about hot places, or about cold places? Do feel free to comment and let me know!

Until the next time I blog, whenever that is, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Snowman – Jo Nesbo
  • The Saffron Trail – Rosanna Ley
  • Land of the Midnight Sun: My Arctic Adventures – Alexander Armstrong

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Filed under Books, British Weather, Football, Television, Travel

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