Saturday, 4 February 2012

Opinions of snow...


Every year we get snow. Certainly here in the South Pennines - although it still seems to take people by surprise, as if the forecaster didn't really mean "that" kind of snow.

We have a difficult relationship with the cold white stuff - on the one hand, the child in us leaps for joy. We head for the shed, the cellar or the cupboard-under-the-stairs to dig out the sledge. We tell the children that we'll build a snowman (in the morning) or even throw snowballs. Snow makes us smile.

Almost at the same time the survivalist in us takes over. We stock up food, bank up the fires, mutter under our breath about getting to work or struggling to the shops. The news programmes gleefully tell us (oh how they love a 'crisis') of trapped motorists, of further blizzards and even - joy of joys - the snowed in pub complete with trapped residents or regulars. People rehearse the ear-bending they will give the council (or their councillor) when they get the chance. Snow makes us grumpy.

Somehow we can't win with the stuff. OK, so it makes it tricky getting about and for a few more isolated places can cause problems. We're rightly concerned that the ill and the elderly are cared for, thought about but most years the extent of the 'snowcopolypse' is three of four days of inconvenience.

The bother is made worse - with week day snow - by the almost instantaneous decision of schools to close - not because the children can't get there but (most often) because the teachers can't get there. So, instead of a slightly bothersome day or so, we get a huge dent in economic activity as people decide that because the kids have been sent home they'll have to stay home too!

Thinking back to my childhood, I don't remember this happening. OK, I'm from London and, in those pre-global warming days, we didn't get much snow (the best ever was when it started during Christmas midnight mass). Maybe the schools in Bradford were shut as soon as the first flakes fell from the sky? Perhaps everyone rushed to jam up the roads the moment the boss said "you can go home if you want"?

Somehow, I fear we've become less tolerant of snow, less appreciative of winter and more angry at it's inconvenience.

Maybe we should just enjoy snow? Enjoy the sense of community it brings. Enjoy the smiles and laughter that there'll be once we can get out, kick it around, build with it and slide in it.

Yes, that's what we'll do! Tomorrow. Right now we'll be grumpy, eh?

....

1 comment:

Henry Crun said...

Simon, I have to take issue with you on school closures. It's not so much that teachers can't get to school but rather can't be arsed to get to school.