Saturday, 9 January 2010
In Britain we really do like to talk about the weather. It's one of our funny little nuances. It's what brings us together and how we pass the time of day when we meet.
Britain is now in a 'Big Freeze'! The media are having a field day with it. We've had news specials about the snow on practically every channel. Scaremongering about gas running dangerously low, traffic chaos and hospitals running out of beds is rife.
'Don't panic chaps, but salt is in short supply for our roads, we may never drive again! Oh, and don't forget to pack a shovel and flask of tea.'
Oh...but we love it.
We love a crisis, we love the fact that the weather is once more front page news. The Met Office love the fact that they are centre of attention. Severe weather warnings are the new black.
Weather men and women dressed top to toe in fleece, standing to camera, under snow flurries are our heroes. For us, they face the wrath of Jack Frost to bring us news of 'The Biiigggg Freeze'! They are so terribly brave...
We are getting stranded on the roads, abandoning our cars and digging them out with spades.
We are all a bit pathetic really. We've spent too much time under a nanny state and now take absolutely no responsibility for ourselves. We expect everyone else to sort our problems out for us.
Or maybe I'm being harsh. As a nation we are lucky to have such a strong infrastructure of health and rescue. So I suppose there's no real surprise that we rely on them so heavily.
I remember the advice from years ago to take a shovel, warm clothes, hot tea and something to eat with you when driving in adverse weather.
This was/is commonsense.
Nowadays, under the warm and cosy influence of mobile phones and breakdown cover, we think we can venture out in subzero temperatures wearing nothing more than a light coat - and when caught out by mother nature's very best blizzard, we're surprised!
Still, it's pretty. I've not managed to get out at all really. Except for a small excursion to Waitrose. I don't like my car as a rule, (it's a knackered Suzuki Vitara and apparently a dizzy blond's car.) I may be blond and at times dizzy, but this daring little 4x4 has been a Godsend. I picked up a few things for my neighbours and felt quite the hero delivering them. Wartime spirit don't you know!
We've had the best time in the lane as you can see by the pictures. We live at the bottom of a steep hill, so getting out by car is virtually impossible. However tobogganing and skiing is an option - as we've all found out.
Once again, on our now annual snowy day we all lobbed snowballs at each other then retired inside for bacon sarnies and hot chocolate. Marvellous.
Every day, as neighbours we've all been chatting whilst we clear the road or defrost our car. Conversation has been entirely about when the next snow is coming, if anyone needs milk or bread, if the corner shop has run out or how the local coffee shop is thriving in this weather. Our community has never been stronger.
The snow is fabulous really. A little debilitating perhaps and a tad chilly.
But as with all the weather on our kooky island - it gives us something to talk about!
And we love that.....