Snow laughing matter

England might have snow but not as much snow as other countries.  Here’s how some other countries cope, and perhaps why this country doesn’t.

Half term and most people were off skiing with their families.  Switzerland’s half term is for two weeks and aptly called ‘ski holiday’.   Yet why does our country come to a standstill when there is just a flurry or a few centimetres of the white fluffy stuff?

If you were in another European country and snow was outside your home, you’d get your shovel and like a dutiful citizen you’ll shovel it up.  Stretching your muscles first for less injury, this is something that is commonplace and frowned upon in most places should you step outside and not leave a cleanly shovelled path behind you.

Of course there are the clothes, with wardrobes in countries such as Sweden and Norway housing ski clothes as well as winter, summer, beach and work clothes.  Here, ski clothes are confined to the storage unit unless of course you’re about to jet off to the South of France or Colorado.

Shovelling is no (is snow) joke …

  • Wax your shovel blade to make it slippery and to prevent snow sticking to it.
  • Don’t forget where your plants are, for they will undoubtedly be covered.
  • Wear all your layers and be prepared to work up a sweat.
  • Make sure you take breaks.
  • Start shovelling.
  • And if you really can’t be bothered, you buy a snow blower.

Quite simple really.

For the streets you’ll often see machines early morning but you won’t hear them.  These machines are as machines should be – they are fierce yet work like a production line.  They go out and they get the job done.  So by morning the roads are clear, and the pavements too thanks to the hardy folk who want to maintain a respectful neighbourhood.

If you’ve lived in Britain for a few decades you may note there are more gritters out on the street, and machines, than there ever were.  Things have improved dramatically.  Yet the trains and the planes still stop and everything grinds to a halt.  The question is why?

Pavements are not cleared, people are very reluctant to do this here.  Salt and grit is left to the council who are already cash strapped.  People look after themselves in this dog eat dog place (unless you’re lucky).

For all those who see the children at home, having fun and playing snowballs; making snowmen, it’s quite clear that snow and no school means lots of fun and laughter.  For those struggling to get in to work, to pay the bills with fear of the big boss person breathing down your neck quite possibly from a country where snow is snow issue then it’s not so much joy.  It’s a complete pain in the posterior.

Secretly the adults want to be at home taking time out, having some down time and joining in the fun with the rest of them – those with kids or those without.  The snow brings a sort of mellow feeling amongst the try hard everyday attitudes.  So perhaps if we keep pushing for more snow ploughs and gritting machines, we may loose the right to hang out at home putting carrots in snow for noses and sledding down the local hills for glory.