This is, I suppose, a kind of diary. Perhaps even a travelogue in a way, or that may be a tad pretentious. However, much money can be made and humour gleaned from simple observation of the world we most closley inhabit, and poetry – well Keats can take the most everyday occurance and find exceptional beauty in it. Would I had a tenth of his talent, or a tenth of the income Stuart Maconie gets from his fabulous social commentary.
At present, the land outside our door, literally, has changed from murky, foggy, damp and rather typically west country wet and miserable to an icy waste, where 21st century glaciers are forming, literally breaking up the surface of our world. I exaggerate not – there are going to be a hell of a lot of re-suracing works done on the roads and pavements this year. That is if it ever thaws out. Minus 9!! Whoever thought that possible. Crisp snow is gradually being turned into pack ice as the sub-zero temperatures continue, and as the sun sets patches like glass are highlighted.
There is a lot said about how the transport infrastructure in Britain, and our general readiness for these ‘extreme weather events’, falls far short of other countries. To be frank though, we could all go out and buy snow chains and skis and we wouldn’t see another flake of snow in the southern half of the country for years. This is only ‘extreme’ because the whole country is covered in the white stuff. Anyone living north of Nottingham must fume when the London centric BBC changes the TV schedules to cover the ‘big freeze’. They have been dealing with these conditions every year in living memory, finding ways to live with it. I would be interested to see how many women ‘up north’ still try to walk to work in high heeled court shoes – undoubtedly muttering under their breath at the lack of grit on the pavements. And did you know for instance that you shouldn’t try and drive off in first gear in snowy conditions? Causes unnecessary wheel spin. Apparently. We soft southerners are wusses to the core.
Well at least I thought we were. My daughter’s school has decided to open tomorrow, despite being in one of the most inaccessible positions in Somerset. The kids who live locally have to walk in or else, and my daughter is so desperate to be there for the fun that she has got her dad to agree to dig the car out to drive her the six miles in on country roads tomorrow morning. Who said teenagers today were lazy and lacked comittment to education? A hopeful parent who would much rather stay in bed in the warm I should think.