When two English people meet their first topic of conversation is going to be the weather; ‘It’s nice out isn’t it?’ or ‘brass monkeys here today.’
Well it’s certainly brass monkeys here in England. It’s snowing and it freezing cold, (for England), just on freezing point actually. Some places, Alaska for example, would think that 32 degrees F is balm and nothing to get exited about. Not here.
The news headlines this morning;
Emma batters Britain: Families are ordered to EVACUATE as snow gives way to lethal black ice turning UK roads into ‘death traps’ while 50mph storms continue to rage across the country.
I think whoever wrote that headline wasn’t born when England had some really bad winters.
Still, this one is bad enough. I’ve been trapped in the garret for 3 days, and my phone lines have been down until a few hours ago. Of course that could be due to the guys digging up the street outside the garret.
What it looks like across much of England.
Walking in clean, virginal snow makes me feel really special.
Where I live, in very temperate England, close to the sea, I don’t see a lot of snow. Well, today it’s pretty cold here ~ just below freezing. There’s been a little snow in the night, maybe 3 or 4 inches. Snow and England are not natural soul-mates.
One snowflake in Central London and the meteorologists warn of climatological Armageddon ~ and so it was yesterday. This particular cold-snap is being called ‘The Beast From The East’, and the weather men are saying this will be the worst cold weather in England since 1991, with ‘up to’ six inches of snow covering most of the country.
Thousands of London commuters were told they must complete their journeys by 6pm to ensure they would actually get home, and local authorities declared snow emergencies. Hundreds of trains and dozens of flights were cancelled last evening, and allegedly the major roads are in chaos.
Social media, women’s pages in the newspapers, and posters in doctors’ surgeries are full of advice on how to cope with the cold weather. Some of this advice sounds stupid; iced tea will warm you up more than hot chocolate, hug a hot water bottle between your thighs, stick your socks in the microwave, and think like a monk to get warm.
And, the ‘Met Office’ warns that the worst is yet to come… You’d think the English didn’t know about snow… Have you never heard of Scot of the Antarctic?
It’s not like we’ve never had snow here before. Back in the day, when I was nobbut a lad in short trousers, and central heating was something only the Queen had, we had some brutal winters. Whole trains were stranded in the middle of nowhere, Royal Air Force helicopters airlifted fodder to sheep starving in the hills, and the army was called in to keep major roads open. The wind cut like a knife, the ice was on the inside of my bedroom window, and my spit froze before it hit the ground. (Being young boys it wasn’t just our spit we tested to see how fast it froze.)
Although the Met Boys feign surprise, it’s not like here in England we don’t get a nasty cold snap in late February or early March. It happens most years, and it’s called the Buchan Cold Spell. Jeez the Taiwan Weather Girls might be better at forecasting English weather than our Meteorological Office.
The weather here is just a little inclement, so I will not be going far today.
due to the snow, today is cancelled