You know that Christmas is just around the corner when the first snow arrives. Before our company moved from London (just a few miles from Heathrow) my colleagues would cast scorn on the idea that ig might be snowing just 10 or 15 miles away… although it didn’t stop some of them from unscrupulously having a sickie because 2mm of snow stopped them from opening the front door whilst I drove in through the chaos of 10-12cm in Hertfordshire and North London.
2.5 years ago we relocated to the countryside about 20 miles west of London and now I have a touch of scadenfroh (a German word which roughly translates as taking joy in other peoples misfortune) as when it snows out of London there is a good chance that everyone in my office block has to suffer as well albeit not on the snowy graveyard of the M25 like I do.
I can never decide whether it is best to drive to work so early or not in the snow. On the plus side the side streets have fresh snow on them which is easier to drive in and congestion can only get worse if the snow keeps up on the motorways, On the down side it is dark, what snow there is on the motorway hasn’t had chance to be cleared or driven on and things are generally chaotic.
I like snow, I love snow. It makes everything look clean, cold and even drab landscapes look pretty with anything more than a dusting. It makes life more exciting and we don’t get much excitement in an office job… I’d just prefer not having to drive 70 miles through it with numpties who go to slow or to quick and who can’t break properly or accelerate smoothly. Apart from that I like it just fine especially when it means I don’t have to scrape ice of the car windscreen.
Whilst it isn’t going to set anyones hearts on fire in Lapland, Canada or even northern England, snow-wise this isn’t bad for early December for just outside London.
Obviously it wasn’t possible to take photos when driving although it did look pretty in a be careful or your going to die sort of way and I counted at least 2 roadside incidents that I drove past. Best of all I have 8 hours for the main roads to clear before I go home.
The only bad thing will be if it continues all day and freezes tonight. Our local council has seen it fit to place speed bumps on all the minor roads as well as width restrictions which has the unintended result of making our narrow streets and lanes something of a ski slalom especially as the speed bumps prevent the use of snow ploughs which people in nearby villages all enjoy. If the snow doesn’t melt, re-freezes or gets compacted then tomorrow morning will truly be chaos and for that it may be a relief I leave so early as then i won’t be able to see how bad it is and no-one will be around to see me slide into the grassy verge.
To be fair to the people of Britain, it is only in London where things grind to a halt in the slightest snow. Everyone else gets by just fine with snow on the ground for weeks or months on end , several feet in parts of Northern England and Scotland) but just an hour of snow in London and don’t we all know it. To be fair to London the streets are narrow, there are millions of people who see snow just once a year or maybe go several years without seeing any and nothing is designed with snow in mind or for great heat in mind so anything that strays from the norm causes problems so when the news in Russia or Canada shows London in gridlock it isn’t that big a thing to gloat over. I’ve seen drivers freak out in Egypt as a water mains had been leaking perhaps 2 or 3mm of water over the street and they would be sounding their car-horns or driving through it at 2mph for no reason, at least not to me where 2mm of water on the ground just means it probably hasn’t rained for a week.
Let’s hope the fog clears in 2 or 3 weeks time. Does Rudolph have night vision glasses? Will Father Christmas get stuck on the M25 before he can deliver any presents? We can only hope not.