Friday, February 09, 2007

Snowed On Ya

Dear World,
I am reporting to you on a day in which nothing happened, at all, anywhere in Britain. This is because 10cm (or 4 inches in the old money) of snow fell all over the kingdom last night, something which compels us all to stop whatever we are doing or had planned to do immediately and utter total banalities to each other like, ‘isn’t this a picture postcard scene then?’
To put this situation into context, 10cms comes to the top of the average adult’s ankle. There are a great many rules in Britain, most of which we residents are unaware until a bailiff comes to take our furniture away. However, one rule that I have always observed is the one which states that every man, woman and child must own a pair of Wellington boots. Being civic minded, I have several pair, most purchased from jumble sales some twenty-five years ago. These I have in case anyone needs to borrow a pair if it should snow during their visit. So, if the three bears should happen to reverse tradition and drop in on Goldilocks, they will be equipped for a stroll on Hackney Marshes if one of our infrequent snowfalls coincides with their arrival.
Above you will see another of my scenes from the bedroom. You may just be able to make out a pair of Canada Geese on the opposite bank. The geese seem not to have altered what they would normally be doing to take account of the fact that it has snowed. They are from Canada, which is, I suppose, explanation enough. Here in Britain, everyone had the day off. I could go on about how easy it is to bring the country grinding to a halt with the slightest inclemency but a) I have done it before, b) everyone else has been doing just that as it is the only news story today, c) it would be thoroughly disingenuous as everyone is having so much fun.
Yes, I could talk about why we don’t have plans ‘in place’ as authorities like to say to deal with a cold snap and why men in orange jackets need to get down on their knees and personally dust off the tracks in order for the trains to run, but, for once, everyone seemed to be smiling. Schools were all closed and children and their parents (after harrumphing unconvincingly for the benefit of copious news cameras about not being able to get to their place of employment), promptly donned their best woolly hats and grabbed the family sized baking tray to make for the nearest gentle slope.
To be honest, it would be pointless for us to bother creating a whole infrastructure to deal with heavy snowfalls when they only happen for one day every five years. Better everyone just stays home for a day and has fun building a snow person in the shape of John ‘Prezzies’ Prescott. It is the nearest to a monument the dear deputy leader is ever going to get. I read somewhere recently that the average British worker only puts in forty-five minutes of actual work a day – the remainder of the day being taken up by one of the following activities:-
  • Looking for a new job
  • Bidding for car parts on eBay
  • Searching for a mini-break
  • Playing Free Cell and/or Minesweeper
  • Deleting Viagra spam from the inbox
  • Making coffee for the entire floor
  • Composing and laminating threatening notes about kitchen slovenliness.
Who can be a loser if everyone gets a couple of days off to bond over frostbite and stir up a bit of that blitz spirit, especially as it’s likely to happen all over again tomorrow bringing the windfall of a four day weekend for most. There could be trouble ahead if boardroom Scrooges miss the point and order staff to deduct the two days from their annual leave but they will be the losers as productivity plummets to fifteen minutes a day.
Although we all benefit from the good will and howdy do-dee that the white stuff brings, the big winners will be the estates of Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne whose 1945 song ‘Let It Snow’ is on continuous rotation on every radio and television network in the land. We may not be able to devise a strategy for dealing with the traffic chaos that a few flurries bring but we might think about expanding the song cycle a little. I suggest ‘Snow Way To Say Goodbye’ by Leonard Cohen. If you want cheering up, Len’s your man…


nmj said...

Silversprite has a funny post on how we deal with snow compared to Finland.

That's so pants said...

Thanks NMJ - it is very funny.

Fringe Poet said...

How about "There's no Business like Snow Business"

That's so pants said...

Or "Snow Hand" by Sister Sludge?
Or "Snow Me" by Barbra Snowstorm?
or even "The snow must go on"?

Queen Minx said...

Up North(West), we're still waiting for the snow. It keeps pretending to arrive, sending wet imitation snow flakes, but not the real hows-ya-father. Although, up in t'hills it's apparently sent in the first reserves i.e. not so wet flakes, but not exactly icy ones either.

My daughter has been very upset about the snow momentarily snubbing the NorthWest, as she wanted a day off school. Instead I had to practically shove her out of the door this morning, promising her snow tomorrow.

Oh the lies parents tell. Never mind, I will only be going to parent hell, and I will probably be reunited with generations of my lying ancestors there, so I have great hopes of a family reunion, comparing new parent lies with old.

On a plus note: Manchester beat Birmingham in the 'city-off' to win the title of England's second city. As a proud Manc I am ... well ... proud!

So snow here was a bit of a ... no-snow!


That's so pants said...

Oh Queen Minx - how sad to have children who don't believe in our BBC. I commiserate and can only pray that it snows in Manchester soon.

Liz said...

Hello Ms Pants - I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I enjoy it very much.

I don't enjoy snow, however, so I am pleased that winter here in Ipswich has only lasted for approximately 8 hours this year. I work for one of the few educational establishments that didn't close - much to the chagrin of staff and students alike. All day long I took phone calls from students asking if the college was open (was the fact that someone was answered the phone not enough of a clue for them?) By lunch time, it was pouring with rain and by the time I walked home at 5.15, all the snow had gone. Does this mean that I don't have to start stock-piling tins of soup?

That's so pants said...

Welcome Liz - I am so sorry you didn't get the day off. I gave myself a holiday but then I am a very compassionate employer! The snow on Hackney Marshes was beautiful.