Unexpected pleasures are the best ones, aren’t they? Our lives are so incredibly busy, steaming forward devouring the days from dawn until dusk – filling them with reports, family commitments, meetings and new friends. The pace can be overwhelming and it’s easy to start feeling as though you’re chasing your shadow, a little out of breath, not quite living your life but existing rather. Winter can be especially challenging, because you’re constantly bundling up, putting boots on, taking coats off, turning up the heater, losing your keys in the folds of your scarf on the passenger seat, and so on. Sometime though, Nature helps out. A big storm is announced and a weather alert goes out on the tv and radio. You go to bed at your usual time the night before, go through your little ritual – perhaps making your next day’s lunch, perhaps ironing your work clothes. You close your eyes and drift off, ready for your usual weekday morning. Seven or eight hours later you wake up and see snow piled on your window sill. You take open the drapes and see your entire neighbourhood muffled under a soft white blanket of snow. You raise an eyebrow and think that digging yourself out may take a while, so you turn on the radio and – joy of joys – hear that your city’s mayor has declared a snow emergency. Quickly you go to your employer’s website or call in to see if there has been a work cancellation and find out that, indeed – the day has been cancelled. Annulled. Suddenly you have a delicious day of possibility ahead of you: a void of 8 or 10 hours that is completely unplanned and unstructured. This is better than the weekend, which still has its social, family and community obligations – this is an open road, a clear expanse of open water. You take the day to read, to clean your home, to surf the web or catch up on your fave tv shows. You stay in your pyjamas until after lunch and laze about. By the end of the day, when it’s time for bed before another workday, you’re happy because your clothes are still ironed, lunch might still be made and you feel somehow incredibly refreshed. It’s a great feeling to go to bed relaxed, isn’t it?