With the news that the UK is staring down the snow-cannon of an Arctic onslaught with temperatures of -15c, my first response was: -15c? Pfft. In the Nordic countries, we’ve been gripped by a big freeze for a fortnight, with parts of Sweden and Finland as low as -40c and up to 70cm of snow in Denmark. We’re talking Narnia.
I learned the rules for surviving a Nordic winter the hard way. Since I relocated from London to rural Denmark in 2013, I’ve become used to driving behind snowploughs, white knuckles gripping the steering wheel in a blizzard of flakes from all angles. Traffic lights and signage have been whited-out by snow and road markings been rendered invisible. Essential car kit now includes snow tires (better grip), extra blankets, emergency chocolate (this could just be me), and a snow shovel.
Fortunately, everyone in Denmark has a snow shovel, since it’s your civic duty to clear the pedestrian path outside your home by 8am every morning. This is so that your neighbour doesn’t break a hip on her way to buy milk. Even the prime minister can be seen shovelling snow in the inky blackness of a morning, so no one else minds doing the same.
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