One snowy day in Liverpool, my brother and I decided we were going to make an igloo. No snowman-based nonsense for us! We were going to build a full-on snow house. I’m not sure how old we were. I was probably about nine or ten and my brother is three years older.
In our back garden, there was a gate in the fence, which led out onto a massive field where football and cricket competitions were played. At the far side is the athletics track where my brother took me with a bike and taught me to ride without stabilisers.
So when it snowed, all the kids with gardens which backed onto this field would be there, rolling massive snow balls and building snowmen and having snowball fights. It was loads of fun.
It was on one of these days that we decided to build the igloo. We used our fence as one wall and got to work on three more walls. It took a looooong time. We brought snow, packed it onto our little walls, getting ever so slightly higher each time.
After a while, we came up with an energy saving scheme where I would be Wall Builder and my brother would be Snow Bringer. We did this for a good while longer, making slow progress. Snow doesn’t actually go that far when squashed down onto a wall. This is what I learned that day.
To become even more efficient, we brought a long board type thing from the garden and put it on the ground, pointing in to the igloo. The plan was that my brother would put his snow on the other end of the board and slide it along to me at the igloo door, thereby saving him the vital energy that he otherwise would have expended in those two steps to the door. We are geniuses.
The funniest moment of the igloo building session came when my brother emerged through the gate from our back garden onto the field. He had scooped the hugest pile of snow from our lawn and was carrying it toward the igloo. It was so big that he couldn’t even see over it. He approached the board, which by this point, was wet and slidy and, you guessed it, couldn’t see where it started.
He stepped on it and a loud squeak announced his error. In a second, he had fallen flat on his back. His pile of snow, however, moved a little slower. He had thrown it in the air so it took another second to come back down to earth… and landed all over him lying on the floor!
It’s probably the funniest thing that I had ever seen up until that point in my life!
After ten minutes of breathless shivery laughter, we got back to work but we had been out for ages by now. After the wall was a little bigger, we balanced our slidy energy-saving board on the top of the walls, to make a roof. We went inside and boiled a kettle of water to melt the snow on the igloo floor.
Once it was habitable, we got inside and lay down, for it was far too small to do anything else.
We had a little chat about what fun it had been, maybe we read books, I’m not sure. What I do know is that it took us about five minutes to get bored of it, get out and go back inside the house to watch television.