Monday, January 25, 2010


Blogging about the weather is pretty low hanging fruit but sometimes, when your mind is as atrophied as mine you go for the easy stuff and hope it might trigger some more interesting thoughts out.

Anyway, the UK has just emerged from the longest spell of cold weather and snow that most people can probably remember. This is especially the case in the south east of England where on the few occasions snow falls, it usually fades away within 48 hours. This time it stuck around for two or three weeks.

A consequence of the relative rareness of these events is that we don't really have the machinery in place to deal with a prolonged bout of weather like this. When we get a bit of snow, public transport tends to be unavailable for a day or two, but eventually the roads get salted and things get back to normal pretty quickly. There is the usual clamour from people saying we should be able to cope and why don't we have the resources to deal with things like this? Critics generally then suggest that in somewhere like Canada or Switzerland they get nothing but snow for three months a year and their buses don't stop running.

Of course that is exactly the point. If the UK had a climate like Canada or Switzerland, we would invest in snow ploughs and put spiky tyres on our cars for three months of the year but if you only get a bit of snow once a year, maybe not at all, there's no point in investing millions of pounds in lots of expensive machinery. You just take the hit, deal with a day or two of inconvenience and things get back to normal.

So, you would think that when people were caught out in the recent bad weather, the authorities who were unable to clear the roads and asked the hapless general public to be patient, would be sympathetic to those inconvenienced by it. But no. What happened was many people were out on their cars when the bad weather struck, the locals councils were unprepared or under-resourced to deal with the problem and people ended up having to abandon their cars as the roads were too dangerous or they simply could not move. Many roads were inaccessible for days, maybe weeks because the local council would not clear them as they concentrated on clearing more major routes or they were preserving their resources in case the bad weather lasted for even longer than was initially feared.

What then happened was that the same authorities who were contracted to clear the roads - and did not - in a decidedly unsympathetic manner, chose to fine the people whose cars had been abandoned.

Sometimes you just can't fuckin' win can you!


sabrina said...

OMG!!!I hope you weren't one of the people who got fined!!!

I've always wanted to experience winter and have always been fascinated with snow but i guess actually experiencing it might not be so fantastic and all magical huh?

King of Scurf said...

Trust me Saby, snow is magical. I love it. There's nothing more wonderful than waking up in the morning, looking out of the window and seeing your whole world covered in a pristine sparkling white blanket; I could get quite poetical about it. If you've never experienced it, you must do so while you're still young enough to want to run around in it like a big kid and build a snowman with a carrot for a nose.

As is the way of this government, they have a way of bringing misery to the simple pleasures in life such as snow and have now managed to find a way of making money out of it.

nursemyra said...

I agree it sucks, but what can you do?