Snow Joke (rant alert)


It’s snowing.  In winter.  In the UK.

I know, I can hardly get over the shock.

Apart from the frankly tedious wall to wall news coverage and an unexpectedly free weekend the weather has had a minimal impact on me so far.  I work from home so no problems getting to my desk in the morning.  Our heating broke but a nice man from GasCo came and fixed it.  My train was busy on the way to Glasgow on Tuesday and the one I was hoping to get home again was cancelled but the next one was along soon after.

What the snow seems to have really exposed is our inability to cope with anything out of the ordinary.

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Amundsen

Are we seriously suggesting that we can’t cope?  How on earth did we survive for thousands of years without gritters?  Buy some boots, gloves, a hat and a warm jacket and walk to the shops/church/work.  Or stay in.  Use the phone, Skype, email instead of going to a meeting.

Go out to play.  Make a snowman.  But no snowballs.  They are dangerous.  My kids aren’t allowed out at breaktime at their open school because the snow is slippy.  And cold.

Is it my imagination or in days gone by were teachers asked to report to their nearest school if they couldn’t get to their own?  I only remember schools being closed when the boilers burst, never because teachers couldn’t get to work.  Apparently it is too dangerous for kids to walk to school in this weather… but not too dangerous to walk to a big hill and slide down it on a bit of plastic.

I loved seeing the open schools on TV last night where teachers had the kids outside building snowmen and igloos.

I’m fed up hearing people complain that no-one has cleared their road.  Get a shovel and get on with it!

Have we become so used to doing what we want whenever we want that even a few days of inconvenience brings us to a complete halt?  Are we so reliant on others that we can’t take any kind of responsibility for looking after ourselves and our neighbours?  Does the world really end with a foot of snow?

8 thoughts on “Snow Joke (rant alert)”

  1. I certainly sympathise with your point of view, and being older still I can remember the days when… (fill in your own reminiscences).
    I certainly remember that if the school bus wasn’t running you simply left the house earlier and walked (or arrived late). I don’t recall ever being kept in at playtimes and remember some spectacular ice-slides that formed.
    Can’t say as I remember the thing with teachers just turning up at their nearest school if they couldn’t get to their own (you could never get away with that now with the whole disclosure check stuff anyway). I guess this is the central issue now though – people expect to be mobile (in any conditions). People do tend to travel to their workplace from much further away than they used to, mainly because more of us have cars. Even if you did travel, it was generally by bus and, since there were fewer cars, the roads were less likely to be blocked. I think that sense of freedom of personal mobility has manifested into a personal ‘right’ to be mobile – and heaven help any government agency that doesn’t facilitate it.
    But if we demand it as a ‘right’, then we also need to assume the responsibilities that go along with it, including giving up the ‘right’ when it is impractical or unsafe. Or, at the very least, finding another way to be mobile – sensible shoes and waterproofs, for example.

  2. nice rant…. hoping the council will come and grit our car park with is corrugated ice ! Not holding my breath just yet, but with two funerals in the church scheduled for next week, I don’t want to make extra work with hospital visits and further funerals !!!!
    One member is off on a Carribean cruise at the end of the month. I’m not jealous…. no, I’m REALLY not jealous…. (ok just a little..)

  3. Pretty much what I’ve been thinking and I do drive to work. The main roads are okay, as long as your sensible and there’s still trains and buses. Perish the thought they’d be used, though! 🙂

  4. I am a teacher. 86% of our pupils are bussed in – it is deemed too far for them to walk. Most come in from outlying villages into town. Schools have to see if the buses can reach the outlying villages at the start of the day and also return pupils safely at the end.

    Also, when we had the regional authorities, we did report to our nearest authority school. However with the break-up of the regions, that is no longer possible. Each day, in my 40 minute drive to work, I pass through two authorities which used to be part of one regional authority, but now have no sanction over me.

    It also amuses me that there is a great outcry about pupils missing a few days’ education due to snow closures, yet in a few weeks time the trickle of parents taking pupils to Ibiza etc. for a fortnight will suddenly become rather more than that – it’s educational you see!

    No-one likes their routine disrupted.

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