Chatty cliches when it's all white on the night

`Of course, there hasn't really been another winter quite like the one we had in 1963...'

THE SCOTS are used to snow, but the English have just been surprised and delighted and horrified by an unexpected nationwide snowfall, as you can tell by listening to them talking about it. If there are any foreign holidaymakers or tourists around at this time in England, you may like to join in with the natives as they discuss this freak weather. To help you take part, here is a list of 50 typical phrases you will hear when the English discuss wintry weather.

"I thought I saw a flake of snow just then."

"I thought I saw another flake."

"No, it's sleet."

"No, it's not! It's..."

"My God, it's snowing."

"I haven't seen snow since..."

"When did it last snow?"

"I blame global warming."

"It's snowing quite hard now."

"Do you think it will lie?"

"I hope it lies, for the children's sake."

"I hope it doesn't lie, for our sake."

"I think it's lying."

"My God, I haven't seen snow like this since..."

"The trouble is, this country's never ready for snow."

"We're always taken by surprise."

"The Swedes or Canadians never seem to be taken unawares."

"But this country..."

"It's really quite thick now."

"Think they'll get the gritters out?"

"Some hope."

"Now, in Sweden or Canada..."

"When did you last see the sledge?"

"What sledge?"

"The sledge."

"Oh, that sledge."

"It's very pretty when it snows."

"Oh, yes, it's very PRETTY but..."

"When did we last have a white Christmas?"

"Where did you last see the gloves?"

"Do you remember that time the snow came very suddenly, and we couldn't find the sledge and we went to the toy shop to buy one, and there had been a big rush on toboggans and they had all sold out, except for those funny plastic things from Scandinavia looking like a flattened handbag, and you sit on on it and slide on your bottom holding the handle, and we got a couple?"

"Yes, I do! They worked really well!"

"Well, where are they now?"

"It's quite deep now."

"But I think it may be the wrong sort of snow."

"Too dry."

"Too wet."

"Too crumbly."

"Too sticky."

"Of course, there hasn't really been another winter quite like the winter of 1963..."

"Right! And there was ice for months on end! And trains were stuck in the snow in Scotland! And the passengers ate each other! And there were three general elections! But nobody could get to the polling booths! And a man was found frozen to death in a polling station in Billericay! And they couldn't decide whether his vote should allowed to stand, because he was deceased although he had been alive when he voted!"

"I can't find my gloves."

"I think they're on the snowman."

"Mummy, can I have a carrot for his nose?"

"That reminds me. Have we ordered the vegetables for Christmas yet?"

"That reminds me. Did we put anti-freeze in the car?"

"That reminds me. Have we booked for the pantomime yet ?"

"That reminds me. We haven't sent any cards this year yet."

"There haven't been any carol singers this year."

"It's not the snow I mind. It's the slush."

"It's not the slush I mind. It's the freezing fog."

"It's not the wet gloves I mind. It's the wet socks."

"It's getting a snowball down your neck and thinking you've got it all out, but you haven't because there's one bit that has slipped all the way down..."

"When did we last have carol singers round?"

"I blame global warming."

"I think it thawed in the night."

"I think it's melting."

"I think it's all gone."

"Thank God for that."

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