London has had a bit of snow this weekend. That is my take on the matter, mind you. The London broadsheets had a slightly more dramatic take:
“Snow WILL take WEEKS to thaw as MILLIONS face travel CHAOS” blared the Telegraph.
“Blizzard conditions expected to cause travel chaos across UK” warned the Guardian more staidly, but still unable to avoid the use of the word ‘chaos.’
One of my British friends had preemptively apologised for the histrionics he expected from his compatriots at the onset of snow. My Nordic friends on Facebook spared no derision for this silly country so unaccustomed to the ways of actual winter. Even a dear friend from Nigeria who had lived in Canada for several years was full of mockery for the Brits’ inability to handle (emotionally or logistically) a relatively common natural phenomenon.
I had been, up until leaving for Christmas, desperate to see snow in London, but I experienced an actual snowstorm while back in the US for the holiday, so my snowlust was more or less satisfied.
Having spent many a winter in properly cold climes where a month without snow is an anomaly, I figured I might as well join the chorus of snow snobs. But all the obvious points had already been made, so I thought I’d try to find some nice things to say about the Brits’ handling of snow:
Even though headline writers were working themselves into a frenzy over the snowfall, I was pleased to see that quite a few runners were undeterred, and were still out galloping through the falling snow along the Victoria Embankment.
Aditionally, the authorities were prepared. There were piles of grit covering every surface humans were liable to walk on — and that was the day before the snow was forecast! Unfortunately, this excessive preparedness extended to canceling flights at Heathrow on Saturday night because snow was forecast for Sunday. As they say, “Better safe than satisfying customers!”
Finally, even though most found it difficult to keep calm, quite a few still managed to carry on. East Street market was not at its usual level of bustle, but several brave merchants still peddled their wares.. Moreover, Faith and I trudged to our local parish church on Sunday, fully prepared to be the only ones there. But we found the pews just as full as CofE pews can be!
Well done, London!