This week here in the UK, we’ve been experiencing a chaotic collision of weather systems: the Beast From the East (which really does just sound inappropriate, I’m sorry), and Storm Emma — potentially the least threatening name for a storm ever. Regardless, the consequences have been snowy and windy — some call it a ‘blizzard’, but then some people call me ‘annoying’ and ‘childish’. For any of my readers in the UK, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that this country is not geared up for snow: I bet all the Canadians and polar bears and penguins are laughing at us right now, as they watch the 12:00 Virgin trains service to Edinburgh grind to a hault, as carol on the weather tells us what is perfectly clear THROUGH OUR OWN WINDOWS.
I thought, just to be topical and current, I’d list some of the UK’s failings when it comes to winter, particularly regarding the weather. Maybe, together, we can found a new political party (just stay with me for a sec here), and once we’re elected, we could solve all winter-weather issues that plague the UK annually. We could call it the Lib-dem-olish-the-Snow Party… Further name suggestions welcome.
#1. WE ARE SCARED!!
I think the highlight of this snowy spell, for me anyway, is the news of a train cancellation. I know, I know, this doesn’t paint me in the most empathetic, caring of lights, but hear me out.
This week, a train was cancelled — I forget where —, leaving passengers stranded in the harsh temperatures of mainland Britain. The excuse? “The weather FORECAST.”
No, not the weahter, or the condition of the rails or the power supply. Nope — the FORECAST. The ever-so-reliable, always-accurate weather forecast. That’s a lot of responsibility for an individual, I feel: imagine if that weather presenter got it all wrong, and those passengers turned to him/hr to vent their frustration… Brits can get proper angry, believe me.
What I love most about this story is that the powers that be were frightened enough of the snow to cancel all trains IN ADVANCE of its arrival; it’s the first time, I think, that National Rail has done anything early…
#2. WE JUST WAIT…
For once, Britain was prepared for the Beast From the East. (It’s such a stupid name it just gets worse and worse!) It’s been on the news for a week or so now, and the weather presenters have been looking smug, telling us we’re all going to die whilst they’re in their heated weather studios, pointing at parts of the country and holding in their mocking laughter. You’d think, as Brits, we’d rise up: screw you, smug weather people — we’ll show you that we can cope! (We can’t but shhh)
But no… Still, we wait until the snow has fallen, then we wait a bit longer in case this whole thing is some horrific nightmare and a cup of tea is all that is needed to resolve it. When we realise that the blanket of snow is not a result of tea-induced hallucinations, we then think about maybe getting some grit on to the roads, to stop people from sliding and gliding and dying and stuff? It’s quite effective, so I hear.
WHY ARE WE SO FRUGAL WITH OUR GRIT? I mean, I get it, grit is a finite resource, and we use it for so many other purposes other than snow damage-control, like … erm … yeah, gritty things.
#3. WE DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Every year, when The Daily Mail FINALLY gets it right, and the snowflakes fall onto a sad, desolate wasteland (Milton Keynes), the news goes into overdrive. If it wasn’t incredibly funny, it’d be pitiful: there’s always one reporter in a train station, telling us that the trains are disrupted, whilst simultaneously giving the Starbucks 10 yards away longing, lustful looks. There’s always a news anchor in the studio, nice and warm, with that ‘pretend pity’ face as an elderly person, undoubtedly from Newcastle, tells us how “it was never like this in my day — this modern snow isn’t the same”. And then, there’s the reporter who has to tell us that there’s the risk of rural communities becoming ‘cut off’ from the rest of human civilisation.
Why does absolutely nobody on the news realise that this is literally the ONE PERK of the snow??? Finally, the ones we don’t want can be temporarily forgotten, left in the snow to be annoying on their own, without me. It’s the best part of winter — leave them with their sheep and farms and village shops.
So, there you go — these are my UK winter moans. All of these can be resolved fairly easily; together, let’s overthrow government and solve the UK’s winter crisis.
All the best from your future SnowLeader.