Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Deep and crisp and even

It has been snowing. You can't miss it. You go out, it's there. Mainly on the ground, as is the nature of snow. Sometimes in the air, although that's generally a transitional state while it's on its way to the ground.

It's like Meteorology 101 here sometimes, isn't it?

But I've noticed that there are some common occurrences that seem to erm, occur whenever we get snow:
  • The weather people on TV and radio get very excited. It's very much "In your face, news readers! I'm the Daddy around here today." This soon fades away and the newscasters can continue to ignore them at team get-togethers and the office party.
  • The question "How many inches did you get last night?" is uproariously funny for about ten minutes.
  • The media will start to cover what is a fairly natural phenomenon in intricate detail, verging on hysteria. I've seen at least one national newspaper's online version doing a live blog on the snow today with breathless updates such as "8:10am - it's snowing! 8:25am - still snowing! 8:40am - bugger me, what's all this white stuff falling out of the sky?"
  • At least one reader will post a comment online stating how ridiculous it is for news outlets to be doing this. Of course, responding only encourages them, but this is an irony lost on everyone.
  • People from the north will say how pathetic those southerners are, getting all exercised about a little snow preventing them from going out to buy a cafe latte. Why, only last week, they'll say, they had to walk through waist-deep snow in Gripmundwicke, Yorkshire to get some milk. Straight out of the cow. You southern nancies.
  • Then someone will remind us how It's Not Like It Used To Be. Remember 1963 when we could go ice-skating on the Thames? And the schools never closed then, either. Coming next? Diptheria. You knew where you were with that.
  • Someone in Australia will say how it's a balmy 45 degrees in the shade over there.
  • Passing Canadians and Nordic folk will be heard laughing.
  • We ignore those people.
  • Driving tips will be given out. We all nod sagely when told to steer in the direction of a skid.
  • Around 90% of us don't actually understand what that means in practice, but are too ashamed to admit it.
  • Those who boasted about the superb handling on their rear-wheel-drive car for the previous 50 weeks are now manoeuvring like ducks on a frozen lake, driving around with firmly clenched buttocks and a thoughtful expression.
  • We tune into local radio during the morning commute, for the travel updates.
  • We realise just how bad local radio is and promise never to do it again.
  • Some people work from home. However, "Working from home," is, in some cases, code for "Playing computer games while sitting in their pants".
  • We are told that panic buying has started. We are informed that people are pushing trolley-loads of bread out of Tesco. So we all go and buy extra loaves of bread. Even the yeast intolerant are going mental for Hovis. Because we're like that.
  • Mind you, as long as the UK's supply of tea is unaffected we reckon we'll be alright.
  • Running out of ways to describe it in writing, media outlets ask us to send in pictures of snow. Pictures? Of snow? Really? Oh, OK then.
Some snow, this evening. Happy now?

4 comments:

emma said...

G'day. That's a pretty impressive load there. I'm impressed. We in Portugal are gunning for snow (maybe tonight...nothing, maybe tonight...)at least to justify all this coldness and even break the monotony of all this rain. Like Australia, Portugal is in Cold Weather Denial. All hell breaks loose when it snows - it's a catastrophe that warrants hogging at least half the news bulletin. Nevermind WW3, it SNOWED!

City Girl said...

Is currently snowing in Alabama. It isn't sticking to the pavement, but that's irrelevant because everyone is so busy consuming the milk and bread they've hoarded they can't leave the house anyway.

Good to know the bread-in-a-crisis obsession is a tradition dating back to our time under the crown.

greeneggsandtam said...

Reporting the weather is a national obsession here in Canada. It was -38c with the windchill factor last night. It's funny really that drivers everywhere panic at the first snowfall - even here, despite the fact we get eight months of winter.

Anonymous said...

Oh my - just read this entry and i'm still laughing out loud. Here in Alaska all of the news is fixated on the cold winter snap the lower 48 states are enduring because it's winter AND it's snowing. The national news folks breathlessly report the record cold temperatures (10 degrees!!) while ignoring the fact that Alaska is part of the USA and it's -44 deg (F) with a wind chill factor of -60 at Prudhoe Bay (probably even colder in Fairbanks). Newcomers are given friendly and earnest advice about proper studded tires, etc., etc., and then find out that the dangers of Alaskan winter driving are Alaskan drivers because a real driver doesn't slow down just because of minimal visibility, high drifting snow on the roadways or moose. And yes - we are snickering in the background.
Cheers,
Vicki

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