With this image all is said about what was talked about in Great Britain in the first week of 2010. The Weather. Dane’s school closed, David working from home several days as South West train service severely disrupted and parking lot at work more than treacherous.
Constantly, you have to listen to people rant about useless councils and government because all roads aren’t cleared within the first couple of hours of snow, not for a moment considering their own reaction if billions of pounds were spent on snowploughs and grit which would then be sitting idle in council parking lots 99% of the time. In the UK it isn’t really an argument that things work like a clockwork in snowy conditions in places where they have snow 6 months of the year. They have the tools in place and it makes financial sense to have them there. For any household, big or small, pros and cons must be weighed before investments are made. Living in Denmark it made sense for us to own a snow shovel (wide, light, made of birch wood), skis, several toboggans and sleighs and – not least – winter tires for the car. Over here it doesn’t really, at least not on our budget.
Personally, I don’t mind the snow so much, but I do mind the cold. I’m freezing ALL the time, draught swooshing in through windows and under doors in our listed building. It drives me nuts, lowers my productivity and dampens my mood. I long long long for spring and summer!
OK, so it was a lot of snow. It really was. And I was fully sympathetic with the schools for closing on the Monday – many children couldn’t have come anyway or would have spent endless hours in their fretting parents’ cars before finally getting there. Tuesday – when it hadn’t snowed in our area for 18 hours, I thought OK – it’s still a bit of a hassle to get out and about and for us personally, it wasn’t a problem since we work from home. But when I read on the school website Tuesday evening that the school was STILL closed on the Wednesday I just couldn’t believe my own eyes! True, most smaller roads and parking lots and driveways are still icy and slippery, but it’s not like we don’t know that by now! And salt and/or gravel could be spread to ease the situation. But no. A lot of the parents who are not as fortunate as we are must have been desperate! I do realise that a school is not there to mind our children, but most of us depend on our jobs and we should be able to rely on the school to be open and to school our children, when it’s supposed to.
I’m told that this has to do with the extremely rigid Health & Safety Regulations in this country. It’s getting to me – I’ve written about this before, the ubiquitous worry-sickness. Children can’t walk to school, they can’t use a computer un-monitored, they can’t climb a tree. And adults have to be told that hot food is hot (!!), that roads are slippery after 15 cm of snow…. It’s like we just can’t handle any disruptions to our ordered little lives anymore. AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! Can I PLEASE have the responsibility for my own life back! Anne Applebaum writes about it in the Washington Post. And there are loads of opinions on the Alpha Mummy blog.