I've been back in Manchester for less than a week and today is the first day it hasn't snowed. This unfortunately means it's the first day since I've been back that hasn't felt like Christmas.
I had a wonderful time at home visiting with friends and family. To be completely cliché it truly is the most wonderful time of the year, especially this year as I've had (count 'em!) 10 Christmases. Totally beats anything Hollywood could produce.
Of course there was the Manchester Equestrian Club Christmas party before I left and the Boulder barn party when I came back, both horse functions top the list for most alcohol consumed at a Christmas party in 2012. Yee haw!
Then, thanks to my brother and his girlfriend packing up and spending Christmas in Mexico, we had an early immediate family Christmas with them, one with my dad's side of the family, and one with my mom's. Christmas Eve was spent in the mountains with oyster stew at Dad's parents, Christmas morning with Mom and Dad, Christmas night with Mom's family again (why not eh?). Once I flew back I had Christmas with Richard and another with the sisters in law. Oh my the food that was consumed this holiday season...
Not to brag or anything, but my Christmas totally trumped your Christmas.
And, if you're a by-the-numbers kind of person, snow was falling from the sky for 1/2 of them and there was snow on the ground for 9/10. And speaking of snow, I've had a first-hand view of what's called the urban heat island.
(Since my grandfather is convinced I don't do any schoolwork, I'll take this opportunity to explain the urban heat island in an attempt to prove I have learned something at some point in my career as a student)
On a hot day, if you're out on the grass, it feels cooler than if you're standing in the street. You can amplify that by walking into a city with all that heat-absorbing concrete around you. There you go...the urban heat island.
It's been snowing here since I arrived and places in the UK have thigh-deep snow...not completely normal if you're not from around here. I heard my friends at The Paddocks have a foot and a half and are snowed in. At my house, we've only ever gotten a dusting, unfortunately, whereas a mile out of the city there are at least a couple inches of snow. Manchester's urban heat island and a bit of protection from the Penine Mountains around us meant that we didn't have a lot to show for that white stuff coming from the sky. Bummer for me, but I suppose it makes my walk into work a bit less treacherous.
Since the snow is done (for a couple days at least!) I suppose I should take this time to accept that all my Christmases have passed this year and it's time to move on to other things...like maybe all that school work my grandpa doesn't think I do...