In many a back garden across the British Isles this week people who should know better have chosen to spread eagle their naked carcasses in snowy back yards pretending to be snow angels – whatever they are. And it isn’t just loners who indulge in such activities in the privacy of their own gardens, there have been many communal events too.
- There was the great naked snow plunge that took place in some valley or other in Yorkshire. Snow had drifted to a considerable depth where normally there was a shallow river flowing beneath a bridge and the players in a local rugby team, denied their hour of practice by the snow, took turns at jumping naked from the bridge into the white stuff.
- There was the great naked tumble in fields not far from Manchester when university students stranded on a snowed-in bus rolled (in the buff of course) down a steeply sloping field at the side of the road to the delight or otherwise of their fellow strandees.
- There was the great naked snowball fight (students again we presume – why does studying have this effect on people?) in East Anglia, the snowballers confident that the Police, if called, would not be able to get anywhere near them.
And it wasn’t just the British; there was even a naked run along a very long beach in Donegal and people came from miles around to join in, something that couldn’t have happened before the advent of mobile phones I suppose.
But then let’s not be surprised at this response to deep, freshly fallen snow. In Finland it’s no big deal to sit for a while in a sauna with your mates and then frolic about naked in snow drifts to cool down – one famed Russian Tzar, the latest I believe, was often seen after a good heavy fall of snow running in the nip round the snow drifts in the imperial court yard after a good, hot flogging in the sauna.
Whatever happened to the good old fashioned practice of making a snowman?