IT only takes a flurry of snowflakes to gather the entire Herald newsroom by the windows, suddenly transfixed on the Renfield Street courtyard. The snow is rarely a surprise, or even a rare occurrence in Scotland, yet we gather and gawp as if it is the first time we have ever seen the stuff. Every single time.

As a child in the Highlands, snow rarely came in smatterings. The crisp white stuff would blanket the countryside and neighbouring town and bring the area to a complete standstill. And, with that fresh coat of snow, came an even more incredible phenomenon: an unscheduled day off school.

My routine for potential snow days was always the same: I shot out of my bed, prying open my curtains open to assess the scene outside. I sat in my kitchen and, radio turned all the way up, waited impatiently to hear the name of my school among the growing list of closures and cancellations. I put off getting dressed for as long as possible, as if leaving my school uniform in its drawer would somehow influence the authorities' decision.

There were two kinds of snow days: coorieing in or going out. The latter involved everyone digging their sledges out the shed and making a beeline for our deserted school grounds. We hurtled down hills and pelted our pals with snowballs until we couldn’t stand the cold any more. Then we ran home, peeling off wet gloves and snow-filled wellies at the door, plonking ourselves down in front of the fire until we warmed up again.

When the weather was less peaceful, it was time to batten down the hatches. We ate cereal for lunch because that is all there was in the house and dragged our duvets downstairs to curl up on the couch. It was bliss. The kind of snow day I crave today.

The psychology behind yearning for our school days at the first flurry of snow is pretty simple: it reminds us of being young. Nostalgia is a powerful thing and our emotional memory takes us back to a time where we were fascinated with fluffy white flakes of snow. Our earliest memories of snow are usually as wee ones – building snowmen and making snow angels, not having to trudge through the sleet and slush to get work on time – so our mind automatically goes there first.

Of course, it is slightly depressing to realise that, while snow falls, the world does not stop the way it appeared to when I was young. I cannot sit in front of the radio or, these days, refresh Twitter, and hope my work is closed for the day. But how good would it be if we could?