Snow. Bringing Britain To Its Knees – Again

December 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.

sea of ice cubes ice blue colour

Cold enough for you?

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.



  1. I did like your post. I did. But I had to register for something, or remember my password or something. When I was small I used to wake up noticing two things, first, the ceiling looked brighter. Then it was very very quiet. You must realise that this was deep rural Devon, with only farmland around, and Gorton Hill did not have much traffic even in summer. This soft bright silence would have me out of bed quicker than my Mum calling breakfast was ready. Dad’s close-shaven fields, rolling Devon meadows, were magic under the snow. London had to wait until 1956 to teach me about black soot-stained slush. Take care and keep up the good work, Bob

    • Bob, that sounds lovely. I’m afraid I’ve only ever known the black sludge of London, which comes after the initial cloak of white. But when I’m able to walk on virgin snow as I did this morning, I savour it 100%.

  2. I too love being the first to walk in snow. We have had a good dollop again this morning so all the footprints and tracks are gone again and I intend to leave soon for the corner shop.
    Sadly my wellies have not been properly cared for since last winter and are cracked around the ankles so that was a blow but I will enjoy plodding in drifts nonetheless. I adore snow.

    • I wore shoes supposedly built for snow, but they were not waterproof and my feet were soaking within half an hour. I had never seen so many Hunter wellies as I did today. They must be really good footwear. I think I will buy them in readiness for future snow days.

  3. sorry can’t stop to comment – I’m too busy building a snowman. It’s not easy with half an inch of snow but I might as well try, seeing as I couldn’t possibly go to work today

    • My journey has been relatively stress free so far, so I couldn’t excuse myself from going to work. That, and being freelance, with all that goes with it (if I don’t work, I don’t get paid) ensures I make extra special effort to get there. Mind you, I think my stress level will start to rise from tomorrow, as the lovely blanket of snow will be pure ice and apparently, one of the train lines I use will have a reduced service. I may be joining you in building that mini snowman with millimetres of snow and chunks of ice if I don’t make it.

  4. We have the same milk and bread buying frenzy here. I think people make a lot of french toast.

    • It’s madness, isn’t it? But maybe I’m missing something here. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again now. If there was a disaster, I know I’d be one of the dead because: 1. I would probably take what I think is enough supplies for me and leave some for another person, and 2. I wouldn’t be arsed to go for the rush and crush because I’d reason I have enough to keep me going, then find out later I only have half a litre of orange juice and a biscuit.

  5. Love the snow and the “snow fall” effect of your blog – Fabulous.

    • Thanks, Miss T. It’s a snow effect feature in WordPress. I can’t remember where it is now. I set it up last year, but thought it was a one off. I didn’t realise it would switch on automatically once December came round. Pretty groovy, though, eh?

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