It’s here, oh my good golly gracious it’s here. As Game Of Thrones warned viewers for many years “Winter is coming” and it’s only just gone and turned up in physical form today.
Of course I’m talking about the blanket of snow that’s been laid down across most of the UK. Of course for many of us it’s only about 2-4 inches and the snow’s depth is around the same (The one and only dick joke you’ll find on TBP I’m better than that) but already it’s already reaching apocalyptic levels for the British Isles.
Now, it’s no secret that us Brits are terrible when it comes to a bit of snow. I remember in times past that even the faintest dusting of ice would lead me to pray for my school to close, knowing full well I could and most likely should get there. To say we’re unprepared is putting it lightly, to say we overact is hitting the nail on the head.
But what is the actual impact of our incompetence to ice?
Well in 2018 when Britain was struck by the ‘Beast From The East’ it was reported that the UK business was losing around £1Bn a day. This was due to delayed deliveries, closure of offices, cancelled transport, you name it, when it’s freezing in Britain, nothing moves.
It’s kind of ironic that a country that stereotypically talks about the weather all that time doesn’t have a clue how to handle it. Of course the gritter trucks are sent out and with the advances in technology working from home is becoming a more practical option but it doesn’t do much to combat the staggering amount the cold costs the country.
Of course we’re something of a laughing stock to many countries around the world that deal with far greater levels of snow on a far more regular basis. There’s a few other reasons why Britain is a laughing stock to the rest of the world at the moment but I’ve vowed to cut the Brexit chat to a minimum of late.
So why are we so collectively terrible when it snows?
There are a few logistical reasons. On average we may see a week or so of snow per year if it’s a strong snowy year so in the big scheme of things it’s probably not worth investing in and maintaining the infrastructure put in place to sit about doing bugger all for the other 51 weeks.
Let’s put it this way. Unless you work in an office you’re very unlikely to wear a suit for anything other than a job interview, a wedding or a funeral. Sure you could splash the cash but wouldn’t it seem like a bit of a waste to have a specially tailored £1000 pound suit just hanging up in the cupboard waiting for someone to pop the question or pop their clogs.
Countries like Norway or Canada that see their levels of snow sometimes reach a few feet HAVE to invest heavily in ways to keep the country running when faced with relentless and heavy snowfall otherwise they could face some serious consequences.
Let’s face it, the levels of snow we get in Britain aren’t commonly life-threatening. We’re not ever really snowed in. We like to say we are because come on, we all enjoy the rare bit of snow we get. You might be like me and be a grumpy git at times but if you were offered the day off with the option of building a snowman or having a snowball fight, you would probably take it.
I remember during high school our headteacher was adamant that unless it was like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow, that our school would stay open. The morning spent watching the local news or listening to the local radio hearing every other school in the area shut was heartbreaking. At the time I resented her stubbornness to keep the school open but looking back she probably just didn’t cave into the rest of the country’s willingness to go gallivanting about in the snow.
If you have had to drop the kids off in school today or take yourself into the office, stay safe out there, because if you were to listen to the news this morning you’d believe that IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE SNOW IT.