Snow. Bringing Britain To Its Knees – AgainDecember 2, 2010
We’re a hardy lot, us Brits. We survived the Blitz, we were defiant in the face of IRA bombings, we have set our faces against more recent terrorist actions and on Monday, here in London, we forged ahead against the obstacle of the tube strike, the fourth in three months. But something happened on Tuesday. It snowed. And despite knowing of it’s impending arrival a week ago and councils plus other authorities boasting about their grit mountains and their preparations, trains were knackered, roads were gridlocked and people found their 40 minute journey home taking a millennia. This scenario is becoming as regular as, well, Christmas.
I don’t quite understand how we come to this sorry pass every time. It’s true that, Scotland being the exception, we don’t get snow on a regular basis like other countries around the world, so it’s not fair to compare. However, I can’t help feeling that if Al Qaeda wanted to bring this country to its knees, all it would have to do is harness the power to change the weather at will and bring a light dusting of icing sugar to this sceptered isle – job done!
I’ll admit it. I love snow. There’s something about that blanket of white making everything look so clean and magical which brings out the five year old in me. When we had the great snow-ins of February 2009 and December 2009 to January 2010, I was recovering from an operation and working at home, respectively. This time, on Tuesday, I found myself attempting to get to work through what was now looking like the enemy instead of the friend I admired from inside a cosy Pie Palace. I did OK, all things considered, but I found a frisson of excitement at the start of my journey knowing that as I was leaving home so early, I was one of the first people to walk on fresh snow. That was glorious. At the time of my writing, dear reader, the snow is falling again and there will be a fresh blanket for me to walk on in the morning. Lovely.
But never mind my snow love, what of those who are stuck and can’t get home/to work/to hospital? Why is it that this subject has taken up so much airtime and column inches? And why is it that the Sainsbury’s near my workplace had nearly run out of milk, bread and soup? What’s with the panic buying? If you were stuck in 10-foot snowdrifts in the furthest corners of Scotland there would be a point. But it’s LONDON. You probably have some food in your cupboard to keep you going for up to a week already. Come on now. Behave yourselves.