Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow, snow. Quick, quick? No.

If there's one thing we Brits have never quite got our head around, it's the fact that, occasionally, at this time of year, white slippery stuff falls out of the sky. It always takes us by surprise.

I woke up this morning to find most of the south east covered with a thin, but very pretty, white blanket. It's like a Chrismas card which has come about six weeks too late.

The list of school closures on the local radio goes on for several minutes. It would probably be quicker to list those that are open. There is stationary traffic in the main road outside my house. In fact, there's stationery traffic too. I spotted a W H Smith's lorry. The busses and local trains aren't running.

I am in the fortunate(?) position of being able to walk to work so I feel smugly superior as I effortlessly overtake the traffic queued on the A329. On my journey I pass several groups of school children who have set off prematurely. My route takes me past a number of bus stops, and a local railway station, where stranded passengers are talking anxiously on their mobile phones, trying to let offices or loved ones know they are going to be several hours late.

A Danish lady phoned the local radio station this morning. When she was a child, growing up in Denmark, her school never closed because of snow.

'In Denmark,' she tells us, 'we have a special word for this kind of weather. We call it "winter".'

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