Op-Ed: The UK should be used to changes in weather. It has always been unpredictable. Looking through rose-coloured glasses we all remember that it only snowed in winter, was always lovely and warm and sunny in summer, and so on. Was that really the case?
No it was not. Certainly extremes in weather were less frequent. Flooding happened rarely. Summers were not usually a total wash-out, from start to finish, as in 2012, in the UK. There were exceptions though.
We have to bear in mind that the UK was less densely populated in the past, had less drains on resources, such as water supplies, and was more rural. The urbanisation of such a small country as England, with citizens removing the traditional 'English garden' almost from existence has not done the British environment any favours.
The point, however, is, why, at the first sign of significant snowfalls in the UK, does the country grind to a halt? Why do citizens pay local representatives and nationwide politicians, if not to plan for such events?
Yorkshire and other northern areas of the UK have had snow on the ground now for more than a week. Roads are no longer cleared, nor pathways. This has been the case for a few years. In some areas residents act for themselves. However, the legal implications should offer a cautious note. If you clear the path outside of your business or home and a person falls, they can sue you.
Monday in Hull, Yorkshire, the so-called rush hour saw long traffic delays. Cars and other vehicles soon backed up in the relatively small city centre. Journeys that would have normally taken 30 minutes lasted a few hours, and tempers frayed.
Late this week the snow hit the south. The 'southern softies'. Chaos descended. Airports ground to a halt and the timetable disruption continues. Snow plow were shown on the news, clearing the streets, in London. Oh to see a snow plow in the North. With so much money diverted to London for its traffic problems, other areas have to 'put up with it'. Like it or lump it in fact.
Today the BBC have predicted more snow and ice in the UK, especially in the east. Yes that will be us again. The south east however is expecting up to 8cm (3in) more snow before it moves north. Heaven help us. The country has had it!!
How come countries such as Finland, Canada and elsewhere cope better with snow? It is not as if it were unheard of in the UK. Each time there is a snow crisis the government holds its hands up but fails to act. Forward planning would prevent much of the nonsense.
As the UK struggles financially does it really make good sense to end up paying for:
Perhaps Messrs Cameron and Clegg, who choose to use stiff austerity measure to supposedly turn around the British economy, could look a little closer to home. They could also concentrate on sorting out the many issues in the UK, as opposed to preparing to allow the UK to become embroiled in more conflict abroad.
At one time in the UK the unemployed were offered snow clearing work, plus men, such as my father who worked on building sites which were not operational during extreme bad weather, manned snow plows. Is it better to just continue as we are? I do not remember snow as such a crisis back then, even without my rose-coloured glasses.
Yorkshire, Tinks and Jessie's approach to snow.
Eleven-year-old Jessie is reluctant to venture out in the snow. She still enjoys a brief play before her paws get too cold. Four-year-old Tinka is a different matter.
Another rescue dog, we have all shared a home since early September. He spends more time outdoors, eating snow, chasing it, burying his head in it and more. As soon as the camera appears he is gone. Yesterday he was caught on camera misbehaving again, in our vegetable boxes, a good three or four foot from the ground.