Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow go area

Our house has something in common with the National Grid; they are both barometers for national activity. Those on the grid can assess what the country is up to by the surges in power they experience; our house is on such a busy road it only takes a quick glance out the window to know what the world is up to.

I can confirm that the schlep to work was a tentative one this morning. This helps, because on the rare occasions it does snow, we both endure quite a lot of hand wringing over whether we should head out to work or not.

Emma has a harder job than me, she is part of the team that decides whether the school stays open or not. She then has to contact the local radio - with a coded message to ward of cheeky tykes – to tell them the news.

The impact of the decision is enormous; all children and teachers are sent home, the parents of those children have to arrange alternative childcare, or take time off work, their work is affected and so on. You really don’t want to close the school only to find that the snow has melted before elevenses.

My decision is slightly easier; especially this morning because I’d already planned to work at home. Rather than crawling into the office, I spent the day sending out emails into the ether not knowing who was in the office and who was buried in a snowdrift. Occasionally a reply popped into my inbox. It was like we’d just emerged from a nuclear attack and I was making tentative contact with survivors through a fierce nuclear winter.

One email suggested that people were wimps for cancelling meetings. On the radio, the bloke from the CBI came out and said the snow would cost the UK economy £400 million. There’s probably an office deep in the CBI which dreams up such pointless and blatantly inaccurate statistics by throwing a dart at a specially made board. As they said on Radio 5 when they read it out – so what are we supposed to do about it?

It’s true we probably over react to adverse weather, but without decent religious fervour in this country, we don’t have enough bank holidays and saints days to take off work. With weather a national obsession, we should have ad hoc weather based bank holidays. My family occasionally announce ‘Oh bugger it’ times, which is basically when crisis has gone beyond the point of salvage. I think we should have national ‘Oh bugger it’ times.

Rather than toiling over the should I shouldn’t I decision as to whether to head out or not, why not simply have, er, Shilpa Shetty come onto the telly to announce a national oh bugger it. The nation would rejoice and head for their duvets. We can but dream.


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