There was no bread on the shelves.
There was no milk.
There were no cornflakes left, although I suspect that was just my house.
Snowmageddon hit Surrey last week, and it was… well, it snowed.
It did snow quite a lot compared to the pathetic smattering we normally get in Surrey, and it was enough to pretty much stop the county in its tracks. Here in the South East we are woefully unprepared for this kind of weather. When I lived up in Yorkshire, this amount of snow would have just meant that I’d be a bit late for work. More than this might have been an issue, but I recall driving from Sheffield to Barnsley one time in a good three inches of the stuff and making it back in one piece. It wasn’t fun, but up North their reaction to snow is more ‘eh, whatever’ rather than the ‘omg just seen a snowflake, buy all the things’ reaction the South has.
That said, I do live at the bottom of a hill. It’s not a steep hill, but it’s a long hill, and when I trekked out for the paper on Thursday (day 2 of Epic Snow), there were a bunch of cars that couldn’t get up it. Mostly rear-wheel drive, I have to say, but a lady in a front-wheel drive Toyota had bottled it halfway up and couldn’t get going again. And not one of them accepted my offer of a push. You’re stuck. I can help. But that’s your decision. So I didn’t help them.
I never understand why our hill isn’t ploughed or gritted. We have a nursery school, the back entrance to a high school and the road that leads to a middle school on our hill, so you’d think they’d grit or plough. But no, we don’t get that. The problem we then have is that the cars coming up and down the hill to go to the schools compact the snow, leading to serious problems.
My friend in Wales had it worse, so I guess I can’t complain too much.
Somewhere under that is a Vauxhall Astra. So actually, I’m glad we only got a little bit of snow in comparison. I don’t fancy digging that car out.
As usual the tabloid press went over the top about the snow. And also as usual, people ignored the warnings not to drive anywhere. How many people got stuck in their cars on snowy roads and had to spend the night in them? If the police and the weather service is telling you to stay the f off the roads, stay the f off the roads. Don’t make the emergency services’ job any harder by putting yourself in jeopardy through your own idiocy or stubbornness.
The British public also need to re-evaluate their understanding of ‘essential journeys’. An ‘essential journey’ to me is a mercy mission to save someone’s life or to get medication or healthcare to someone in trouble. Going to work or going out shopping by car is not an essential journey. Stay home. Obviously if you’re already out and the warning comes along, then get yourself home as soon as and as safely as you can.
And, and (although this might just be because I’ve worked in the past for companies who genuinely don’t think anything apart from actual death is a good excuse for an absence from work) employers need to remember that their employees are people and not drones, and if they say they can’t get in because it’s too dangerous to travel, they can’t get in. My mind flashes back to the last time we had heavy snow and there were literally no trains to anywhere – I had to email photos of the snow and the train departure boards to my then-manager because there was next-to-no snow where the office was, and she didn’t believe me, asking me if I could get my car out (no, it’s under a snow drift right now) and come in. It was only when a colleague who lived even further into the snow-affected area than me rang in that she believed us.
That said, this same manager didn’t come into work one time when there wasn’t what I’d call a lot of snow in her area, and yet the other employee and I made it in. Funny, that.
Even though the snow was a massive pain in the bum, it was exceptionally pretty. And Fashion Cat didn’t mind it at all.
But then again, he does have a two inch thick fur coat! He didn’t stay out long (it was very cold) and spent most of Snowmageddon cuddled up in his Judgement Box beside my desk. I also got loads of work done, so I’m kind of twiddling my thumbs today wondering what to do – I literally cleared my to-do list while the snow was happening, and only one new thing has come in to do but that’s tomorrow’s job, so I might actually have the afternoon off!
I hope all my UK readers stayed safe in the snow, and enjoyed it if they could. One bonus is that we’re working our way through the supplies we bought (not much, just an extra loaf of bread and some cheese and milk) so there’s a lot of toasted sandwiches happening right now, which is never a bad thing.
And today, the snow is gone totally. Apart from a small heap where I shovelled the driveway, it’s all melted, and Surrey is green again. Roll on spring, we’re so ready for you.