| 11.9°C Dublin

Irish snow is a different breed, it's embarrassing and a pain in the a**e

I HAVE heard that the Eskimos have a hundred words for snow. I think the Irish have a thousand words for how much a pain in the arse our snow actually is.

The flakes have fallen and we are now in the grips of our pathetic, irritating, unpleasant attempt at winter. Yes, it is pathetic.

Before Christmas, is was practically balmy, and my lovely little crocuses started to come up -- in December!

And now, with this cold snap, their little lives are going to be cut short -- never to appear again.

Irish snow, the stuff that doesn't hang around, that turns into slush before you can say "let's make a snow angel", the stuff that slows everything down -- has arrived.

Compared to its cousins around the world -- it is an embarrassment.

I was in Norway eight years ago, making a documentary about the Lebensborn children of the 1940s.

It was and unpleasant, disturbing subject, but while I was there, I loved every second of the snow-filled city of Oslo.

It was the type of snow that had been there for weeks. It was settled, and crunchy.

We had the right gear -- the boots, the jackets, the ear muffs.

But we were cosy and safe and happy as the snow around us allowed life in Oslo to continue as usual, while at the same time making the city that little bit brighter.

I have tiptoed around Prague in the snow, I have walked up hills near Milan in the snow, I have even got stuck in a little cottage in the Highlands of Scotland.

All of these adventures have been enjoyable.

Compare that to 2009, when I was trying to drive around Dublin city centre, in snow that had been there for three days.

Approaching the hill beside the Liffey, going up towards Christ Church, was like approaching Dunkirk.


My nerves were shot to pieces, there were cars sliding back down towards me, and there were cars behind me -- revving so violently that I felt that if I didn't make it up the hill, there would be a hundred drivers surrounding my car, vying for my blood.

So I took off and got 20ft up, before the wheel started skidding and the car started sliding back down the hill.

I had to quickly reverse towards the path, avoiding the tailback, and desert my car.

Nothing fun about that, nothing safe about that, just fear and a miserable walk home.

We don't do snow here in Ireland. It doesn't suit us. So let's not pretend that we actually like it.

The Eskimos may have 100 words for snow but they have one appropriate one which sums up our response to the white stuff here. It's 'akritomayok' -- stupid.