I had a dream last night that I was driving in my car and suddenly the roads were covered in a thick blanket of snow. Unable to control the car, it skidded and mounted a kerb and for some reason the front wheels fell off.
Personally I think I was lucky it was just the wheels. For those of you that don’t know me personally, or just don’t know me as well as you think you do: I hate the snow. In fact, I HATE the snow. I don’t even know if I can put into words how much I HATE HATE HATE it. Getting the picture now? Yes, that’s right, I can’t stand the stuff.
‘Oh bah humbug!’ I hear you say. And to that I would say, first of all, let’s STOP associating snow with Christmas. Because here in the UK it rarely snows on Christmas day, in fact I think snow on Christmas day might be a myth devised by Santa’s elves to make us think Christmas is a lot prettier than it actually is. For me, Christmas day is really the only acceptable day for snow. Any other day and it can jolly well do one.
I used to love snow when I was a kid. Well, slightly untrue. I loved it whilst in the comfort of my own home with my face pressed against the window and I loved it for the first five minutes of venturing outside and then once my older brother successfully managed to land about five snowballs right in my face, then I didn’t love it quite so much.
Over the past three years, I have developed a total loathing for the white stuff. After having my son just before the Christmas of 2008, I was practically quarantined to the house for six weeks due to a complicated birth and emergency c-section (now THAT’s another story!) and lo and behold, the snow decided that would be the most opportune moment for it to start falling. And it happily continued to fall until we had about three foot of snow outside the front door. And so the six weeks turned into many more until I had forgotten what it was like to look upon the world without a pane of glass in my way. Once my six weeks of no driving was up, I still couldn’t go outside because, well, it was fricking freezing and there was no way I was taking a newborn out into the cold.
And so I stayed inside and the weather conditions meant all those visitors didn’t come round quite so much. I almost waved my newborn out the window ‘Blanket-stylee’ screaming ‘Hey, don’t you all KNOW I just had a beee-yooooot-iful baby??? Forget the blizzard! Forget the fact you will probably lose all your toes to frostbite! Just get round here and stop me from going stark-raving mad!’
But they didn’t come. And so I did indeed go quite mad.
I climbed the walls in frustration. I gurgled at the baby. I watched Jeremy Kyle and started to think everyone was called ‘Traaaaaaace’ or ‘Shaaaaaaaaaz’ and wore tracksuit bottoms. I wore tracksuit bottoms everyday and thought it was perfectly acceptable to do so. I gurgled at no one in particular. I joined twitter. I joined KoL.com. Anything just to find someone to talk to.
I spent the night hours doing night feeds, exhausted, hallucinating and staring endlessly out the window and telling the snow I hated it more than I had ever hated anything. EVER. The snow never said much. It just continued to fall as if every snowflake was a big giant two-finger salute right at yours truly. I flipped the bird back at it numerous times and silently raged.
And then….something weird happened. I had an idea. Not just any idea. THE idea. I had images of a girl trapped inside a house, with the snow surrounding her, like some malevolent beast and every night she would look out at the snow and hate it just a little but more and go crazy, just a little bit more. I had images of footsteps in the snow, made so quickly that she could barely see the person that was making them.
And from that I gave birth a second time that winter. Only this time, not to a living breathing beautiful baby boy; but to a story and to two people destined to be with each other, no matter how much they fought it.
Welcome to the world Sarah and Michael. Welcome to the world, Dark Sanctuary.