This week the UK has been hit with The Beast from the East and Storm Emma – a week-long heavy snow storm with temperatures falling to well below zero.
I can practically hear my Canadian friends guffawing from across the pond as they shovel the 10,000 feet of snow from their driveways for the third time today.
Schools and hospitals have closed, a Red Warning has been issued, there’s been panic buying in supermarkets, drivers have been stranded, operations have been cancelled… We’ve even had dedicated hour-long news programmes to cover the fact that we’ve had a lot of snow and it’s reeeeally cold.
As always, our incredible public service workers have been out in force, our hospital staff have been sleeping in the hospitals overnight (I will be always grateful to them for everything that they do), and there’s been endless stories of people who have gone out of their way to help those in need, because in times of crisis that’s what we do best.
The thing is, we’re not equipped for it, both as a country and as individuals. For such a small island we can hold our own in the world across every field of work, but when it comes to the weather we’re pretty accustomed to moderate, generally grey and in recent years LOTS of rain. Unless you live far in the north or very high in the hills it’s rare to see large amounts of snow for a prolonged period of time… Our cars, homes, transport systems and places of work can’t handle anything else. I can remember a week or two of snow here and there over the years, but I’ve never experienced the -6 degree type temperatures that hit me when I went outside yesterday and have a new found respect for anyone who deals with that regularly…
So, The Bloke has the day off today as there’s been a blanket closure of schools across Birmingham (the council made the decision, not the teachers before anyone starts bitching and complaining at me) and we’re taking the opportunity to have a duvet day, accompanied by a blissfully snoozy cat, Season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy followed by the second Avengers film and a packet of Mint Oreos.
Stay safe out there people…