This morning, life in Britain changed. The Met Office issued ‘severe weather’ warnings, the news agencies warned that snow was coming. Officials from a number of government agencies told us that we were ready, that Britain would cope.
I spent much of this morning with a TV screen on while I was working. Airports were closed, side roads blocked, the main roads which were clear, because the gritters had been out, were now at a standstill because of crashes… cars upside down, lorries slewed across the road and motorists sitting in their cars, bemused, wearing rugs over their knees, drinking hot coffee from thermos flasks and eating ‘rations’. Trains couldn’t use the rails because of snow and ice and buses were diverted to avoid hilly areas. Excellent… the usual, classic, British performance when a bit of snow hits us. I always enjoy the news when snow falls.
We even had pictures of a hardy BBC newshound reporting from rural England. The snow wasn’t that thick – kids were sliding, as best they could, on sledges down a hillside patchily covered by snow. I thought the newshound was about to say that he ‘may be gone for some time.’
I even had a moment of madness; believing that I could ride my motorbike through an inch of snow on the roads to have breakfast in Chiswick. I found that it was very slippery on two wheels, and mindful that I have managed to break bones in both of my legs in recent months, and having no ambition to win a Darwin Award, I retired from the venture.
I made twenty odd telephone calls this morning – only two of the people who I phoned were able to make it to work. I am fortunate. I only need to walk eight yards – I have the luxury of working from a fully equipped house.
England did not fail… we hacked it… unlike the overpaid footballers last night… ‘Spainfull” was how one tabloid described the performance. We now face the prospect of England cricketers struggling through three consecutive defeats against the Aussies in the final of the One Day tournament.
I leave you in ‘Ice Age’ Britain with a few jokes from an Aussie friend of mine who feels that I need to read Australian jokes about English cricket:
Q. What do Geraint Jones and Michael Jackson have in common?
A. They both wear gloves for no apparent reason.
Q. What is the height of optimism?
A. An English batsman applying sunscreen.
Q. What does Ashley Giles put in his hands to make sure the next ball
almost always takes a wicket?
A. A bat.
Q. What is the English version of a hat-trick?
A. Three runs in three balls.
Q. What do you call an Englishman with 100 runs against his name?
A. A bowler.