Leading article: White stuff

Ben Jonson was a fan: "O so white! O so soft! O so sweet is she!" Carl Reiner is less impressed: "An unnecessary freezing of water." But whatever your view on the aesthetic merits of the white stuff, there can be no denying that we have had rather of a lot of it over the past two days. Snow, that is.

So how should we respond to this frosty covering? Building a giant snowman is an obvious option. The present record, 122ft, held by the residents of Bethel, Maine, must surely be breakable for some enterprising community out there. But sourcing a suitably sized carrot for the nose might prove tricky. Now could also be the time to get in some practice for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

But it's probably best for us not to be too prescriptive. For as Samuel Taylor Coleridge put it: "Advice is like snow. The softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon the mind." Love it or loathe it, deal with the drifts in your own sweet way.

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