Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sorry - We're Closed

Well the forecast snow came overnight and as usual the UK has come to a virtual standstill.

You see we Brits don't 'do' snow very well......or hail, or sleet, or wind, or rain, or heavy leaves. Basically if it's not a sunny day, we fall to bits.

Did we have any warnings about this latest brutal and savage fall of heavenly whiteness ? Of course we did.

Did we do anything about it ? Of course we didn't.

What COULD we do ? Nothing much really. We're not going to go out and buy specialised vehicles just for a few days of snow per year. We're not going to stockpile mini mountains of grit and sand for the couple of days when you can't actually see the road surface.

Nope, for most of us, being well prepared means we just are able to talk about the snow the day before it comes. Yesterday in supermarket lines and hairdressers and hospital operating rooms up and down the country, people were talking about THE SNOW coming. It was like we were getting invaded by Martians or Mexicans or some other illegal aliens.

"Oh we're getting in 100 tins of soup and spam as there is snow forecast for tomorrow" they'd tell each other. "Yes and I'm keeping little Johnny off school tomorrow as the bus steps will have snow on them" another wailed.

"But my Billy HAS to go to school tomorrow", one said. "He'll be in trouble with the authorities if he doesn't" she added. "Why is that; has he been missing a lot of school or something" "No, he's the principal" Ok old joke I know.

I'm looking out my living room window at the light dusting of snow that was forecast for us. It's like God sprinkled some icing sugar on parts of my driveway and front wall. The pavements and roads are quite clear - not thanks to the wonderful council gritting lorries but because not enough snow has fallen to even leave a dusting on them.

I realise parts of the UK got more snow than I'm describing and I'm sure people and animals are being badly inconvenienced in remote and high lying places. The BBC site has been reporting on it all day as have all the tv news stations. I'm not trying to belittle what these people are having to put up with......but come on.....4 ins !!! This shouldn't be enough snow to close schools and have motorists warned to only make journeys 'if they really have to be made'.

Of course it's a great excuse not to go in to work. "Sorry, boss, but there is a build up of snow on my hub caps and my TomTom says I'm currently in a parking lot in Anchorage. Can't make it in, I'm afraid"

But we wouldn't be British if we didn't act like this every winter. Questions will be raised in Parliament. The Snow Minister will be asked to stand down. Promises of 'doing much better next time' will be made by anyone with a microphone shoved in their faces.

Through all this adversity, our Dunkirk spirit WILL shine through like a beacon in a blizzard. Life WILL go on. Babies WILL be born. Leeds United WILL continue to lose at home.

In the meantime, I'm off out to get a big plastic shovel. There might be another dusting tomorrow !

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