Posted by: anglopole | February 2, 2009

Nature Unleashed

Today I feel like someone placed in a disaster movie…. one of those to do with avalanches, actually. Everywhere I turn my eye or ear, whatever medium I choose,  there’s a panicking message conveyed by a serious looking reporter. Headlines are pretty much monothematic:

UK hit by worst snow for 18 years

Snow causes travel chaos

Snow blankets Britain

Extreme/icy weather conditions

6 million people didn’t make it to work

Disrupions on trains, tubes and buses

Schools across the UK shut due to adverse weather conditions

Lessons only in sonwman building

Britian braced for more chaos

Motorists warned only to make essential journeys

Tailbacks of more than 50 miles and queues of up to two-and-a-half hours

Snow-bound Britons advised to check their cover

Too cold for penguins

Siberian tiger cubs refused to venture out

and my absolute favourite

The day the snow came – and Britain stopped

I could go on and on and on with listing the dramatic phrases describing how Britons feel about the scary phenomenon, know as SNOW! 😉

Taken today, in the morning - the 'huge' layer of snow with footprints of a daring hero not afraid of snow!

Taken today, in the morning - the 'huge' layer of snow with footprints of a daring hero not afraid of snow!

 It makes me wonder how I managed to survive all the winters years ago back in Poland without turning into and icicle or a snowman (woman, actually)?! What is more I had to drive a lot in such horrendous weather conditions!  Brave, aren’t I? 😉  Perhaps, instead of installing thousands of CCTV cameras that do not reduce numbers of crimes anyway, it would be better if the local councils invested in hiring people (the British unemployed, I mean, of course, as there are so many cries about  British jobs for British workers!)  that would help remove snow from the pavements and dust them with sand, they could provide more snow ploughs and gritters in the motorways or city and village roads….. That’s just a thought! Another invention long known and used in countries like Poland is:

A winter tyre

A winter tyre

 Snowing in the UK really isn’t all that unusual when one considers the kind of climate prevalent here. If it happened in Ghana, for example, on the scale we have seen here today, it would indeed be like a catastrophy. Yet, in this part of the world all it takes is to simply get ready for what a particular season of the year can bring. Besides, all the wise scientists surely predicted this kind of winter for this year long ago, didn’t they? Why, then is everyone so shocked, terrified, and worried? After all, snow is a type of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds, right?

Anyway, one group of people that will always be happy to see snow is kids!  Yeah, yeah, I know – they don’t have to worry about bread winning and all that… and are more than thrilled to stay at home rather than go to school. Well, I did actually quite enjoy snow ball fighting with my boys today and I, personally, find all this panic about snow more chilling than the cold and snow outside!


I'm not really a winter person as I don't like cold, but I quite like the look of the street I live at blanketed with snow 🙂


  1. A very interesting post. France is the same as the UK in that everything stops, but the argument is that it really isn’t worth investing in material and people for an event that happens only once every 15-20 years, and then only lasts for 2-3 days.

    Sometimes it’s good to just let the weather take control, relax and enjoy it!


  2. Hi Adam, I was wondering how France is coping with the proper winter we seem to be experiencing this year. I thought they are more relaxed about it than people in Britain.
    Anyway, yes, this snow ‘disaster’ seems to be considered a rarity here, yet, bearing in mind the location of Britain it is not really a totally unusual phenomenon, is it? Earthquakes are highly unlikely to happen here and yet one did happen last year, so it is not entirely impossible. I’d say that with all the climate changes as they happen now, it would be a common-sense approach to get ready for heavy snow falls as, even though rare, they can and do happen.

    You’re absolutely right, relaxing and enjoying the beauty of snow blanketed landscapes and some snowball fights is a much better approach than panicking about it! 🙂


  3. Adam is right of course; there’s no way you could persuade 10 million motorists to buy snow tyres that they’ll only use once a decade and there would be a revolution if you tried to spend the amount of money required to upgrade the tube and rail networks to cope with the possibility of such a rare event. I also suspect that most people aren’t nearly as bothered or worried as the headlines might make you believe – shrill panic is just their standard tone.


    • You’re right, Island, I too think people here will not change their approach to heavy snowfalls. Cost-wise, I am wondering what is more expensive:
      1. getting ready for possible ‘extreme weather conditions’ in winter, or
      2. not doing anything and letting the whole country come to a halt?

      As I went for a walk with my son today, I didn’t really enjoy marching on the thawing, muddy snow-like layer covering the pavements and streets…. It would have been a lot more pleasant AND safer if the fresh snow that fell in last night was removed from the streets or pavements (which is done in Poland, well, at least it was done in the housing estate I used to live in) and that isn’t really a huge expense. Besides, there are so many unemployed people here that shortage of professional snow-busters shouldn’t be a problem! 😉


  4. ooh dear that was some snowy landscapes


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