Ben Sledge 3rd March 2018
With the Beast from the East battering Brits nationwide, and many of us struggling to get to work, or out of the house at all, we thought we’d trawl the internet nter some of the best ideas and inventions to quell any fears of the outdoors, and make the most of your snowy days.
Have you always wanted an office or study room, but the children haven’t moved out yet? Want to challenge the kids for a few hours while they’re off school and you’re working from home? We have the perfect plan…
Build an igloo! Since the snow is far thicker than what we’re accustomed to, perhaps ditch the traditional, and somewhat Christmassy, snowman and follow in the footsteps of Evie and Megan, the North East’s new favourite children (sorry Ant and Dec).
A fun building activity to do with friends or family, the igloo could always be repurposed into an outdoor fridge for a few crates of lager, ready for the weekend. Or, if this all seems a bit too constructive for you, you could sabotage your friends while they’re sculpting with some good old fashioned snowballs. Hours of fun.
Speaking of snowballs, are you scared of being ambushed by unruly teens armed with nature’s hand grenades? Do you feel that this fear causes you to take an embarrassingly long route home, to avoid play areas, parks, or other prime locations for children to congregate? Do you need self-defence?
We have all participated in the odd snowball fight over the years, whether we’ve wanted to or not. And although we all wish we could make (and throw) snowballs as fast as the world’s third-favourite* elf, Buddy the Elf from Elf, sadly we didn’t grow up in the North Pole, and therefore can never compete with him, or the gang of kids ready to lash a dozen cold lumps of ice at your head.
Until now… For only 705 of your finest pennies you can arm yourself with the Flexible Flyer Snowball Maker, available in various colours and, in fact, from other (potentially tax-paying) retailers. Make the most of your snowball fights and become hated by friends and strangers alike with this great snowball fight aid.
Do you enjoy snowboarding, but have a fear of getting snow on your shoes? Or did you forget your special snowboarding boots? Did you wear completely not-weather-appropriate footwear like crocs or boat shoes on the snowy streets? Or perhaps snowboarding just isn’t thrill-seeking enough for you, and you would prefer to hurtle headfirst down a ski slope, hill, or snowed over street, all while being suspended above the ground?
If you answered yes to any of these questions (but probably most importantly the last one), then hangboarding might just be for you! Somehow (ask someone who knows about physics or something), this board suspends you above the snow, and from there you can get all the fun of snowboarding, whilst completely horizontal! We are yet to work out whether you can pilot this contraption whilst lying (hanging?) on your back, for maximum relaxation.
This is the snow-based invention that nobody needed, but everyone will want. Maybe.
Have you ever wondered what a Wovel is? No, me neither. Pronounced like shovel, the Wovel combines your traditional snow-sweeping tool with a wheel in order to ease the strain that shovelling puts on your back. Whilst that is a legitimate problem, and this product could actually help elderly or disabled people, we can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous it looks. It’s a wheel with a shovel on it for fuck’s sake.
In a bold attempt to actually literally reinvent the wheel, the Wovel is kind of redundant in British society, for the simple reason that we don’t get this kind of snow often enough to require sweeping aids. While it may help you clear your road in a novel fashion, it will disappointment many kids by destroying any chance of sledding down it, and disappoint many adults by helping them get to work.
If wrapping up warm and huddling around the radiator isn’t your style, but you still want to be indoors rather than wandering the empty streets like the lone survivor of a nuclear apocalypse, then why not head to an ice bar? The “official” Ice Bars by Ice Hotel are located in Jukkasjärvi, Stockholm and London, but similar bars can be found in most cities, and in fact in many chains of Bierkeller.
With cocktails served in glasses made of ice, icy seating arrangements and icy walls, there’s nothing to do but… chill.
Don’t panic if you need to drive somewhere either! These tires were designed way back in 2014, and whilst they were only a crazy concept, they seem pretty effective for snowy navigation.
Looking like something straight out of science fiction, these tires would also be useful if you needed to drive your car in a desert, on a dirt track, or through a lake by the looks of things. If Storm Emma isn’t the perfect excuse to turn your car into a Transformer, then I don’t know what is. Make way for Optim-ice Prime, scourge of roads and envy of neighbours.
Now for a genuine problem that we’ve all faced. Your music is on, headphones covering those freezing ears, every inch of body covered with as many layers as possible. But then, the worst happens. Rockstar by Nickelback comes on shuffle. You can’t skip the song and risk exposing your delicate fingers to the blistering wind and horrible cold. But the assault on your ears is too much. Whatever can you do?
That’s when the Beartek Bluetooth Gloves fly to the rescue, Superman sweeping the Lois Lane that is your hands and ears to warmth and safety. With intuitive buttons on the fingers, these gloves allow you to skip songs, play and pause, and control volume, all whilst keeping those precious fingers warm and cosy.
These gloves are frankly revolutionary. Ideal for skipping the horrors of shuffle, or potentially answering a phone call, they look pretty comfortable, and most importantly warm. Useful every winter (and some Marches), we might have to invest in a pair for ourselves.
Now, if you’re all set with your musical gloves and your snowball making device, and you’re off skiing, you can’t forget your poles! Or perhaps you’d prefer to use some ski poles for a walk into town, to potentially save you from treacherous black ice? You’re getting thirsty, but when you approach the pub, your favourite watering hole, your second home, you come to a horrific realisation. The doors are shut. Locked, in fact. What will you do?
Crack open your pole of course! Each ColdPole holds 8oz of liquid, and whilst the rather dated website claims it can hold “liquor and other adult beverages” (why can’t it hold water or juice?), I think it would be best suited to holding half a pint of lovely beer in each pole, for on-the-go refreshment. While we absolutely do not advise drinking and skiing, it would be quite a feat if someone could actually manage to take a swig whilst tackling a tricky downhill slope.
Now we think we’ve covered every problem you could possibly face in the barren and snowy British landscape, and solved every cold-based issue you could imagine. Now, all that is left to do is to make your choice; to stay warm and indoors cursing out of the window because you can’t do anything, or get out there and enjoy this brief white interlude in the mundanity of everyday life.
Personally we’re still staying indoors.
*behind Dobby and Legolas, obviously
Ben Sledge 3rd March 2018