I am well aware that the rest of the country seems to have disappeared under a blanket of white, cold fluffy stuff. But here in Bolton – a place not normally noted for its temperate weather – we have had barely a dusting. There isn’t even enough for making the customary snowman. Of course, everything looks prettified, but I wanted to go sledging and generally act like a child but with an excuse this time.
Why does the UK always grind to a halt in sub zero temperatures? Is it a perception thing? I wonder what people from other places that have hard winters think – I’ve seen enough videos on YouTube of cars slip-sliding their way around Moscow or New York to know that adverse weather is certainly not monopolised by Great Britain. Maybe people in these places always lambaste their fellow residents for being muppets in the snow and harbour the misunderstanding that somehow we are coping here in Britain quite well. Or maybe it is just that GB is run by a culture of incompetent managers who couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery?
I quite enjoy driving in the snow. I see it as a challenge to my skills. Before now I have taken a big rig with pride through a technically closed A19 in North Yorkshire without incident. On the way the biggest problem was getting around vehicles that muppets seem determined to just dump in the middle of the road. People, if you are going to abandon your car in a little snow, at least have the good grace to push it to the side of the road and not leave it straddling two lanes of a major highway so that others struggle to get past.
At the moment I’m happily working from home editing up a new edition of ‘The Atlantic Connection’ Whether it snows heavily around here yet, or not, work still goes on. One thing I will say is that those energy efficiency grants that we got in 2009 for insulating the cavities and the loft really were money well spent (they didn’t cost us a penny) and you can certainly tell the difference. Given how they worked out free for most people and a token payment for everyone else, I am left wondering why those who did not take them up chose not to. If only we could have got all new windows and doors too we would be snuggling in the warmest house this side of the garden fence. The only thing we lack is a wood burning stove for that full on Christmas feel. You know, you really miss the fireplaces in these old houses the once-in-a-blue-moon that it is cold enough to get good use out of them. Still, there’s always next yet. Santa would only burn his tootsies on the way down anyway.