It’s Not Christmas Anymore. So Why Does It Look Like It Is?

Friday, January 8th, 2010

I look outside at the white blanket of snow covering my fair town of Slough, and I wonder why the hell we are so attracted to it? Here we are, in the beginning of January, seeing landscapes that look like they belong in a Christmas card. I half expect to hear a robin tweeting away irritatingly in the background and to see a big banner that says ‘Merry Christmas!’ Actually, that does sound plausible. Only we call it ‘forgetting to take down the decorations’.

We have a transport system that is woefully underequipped to deal with snow on the tracks. Over in Japan, if a bridge collapses they will get people working around the clock to restore it to full working order. So why can’t they do that with snow? I can appreciate how a bus would have trouble with this, but the roads seem to be relatively ice-free when I go outside in the morning. But surely it can’t be that hard to attach a plow* to the front of a train for such situations. It would make the journey safer and cause less delays. **

That’s another thing I hate about snow days; when you have them you generally get the day off from school or work due to poor weather conditions. So that’s great, you think, I’m free to do whatever I want! Except the trains and buses will be affected, so any travel needed will likely be about ten times harder than it needs to be, and the roads are quite unsafe due to the ice that has built up on them.

Don’t get me started on the ice that inevitably follows a snowfall. As an adept former ice-skater myself, it was quite a surprise to end up flat on my arse, watching the luggage case I was carrying slowly glide away across the ice. It’s happened a few times before, but I don’t expect it to happen when I’m walking home, for the love of God! I hate the fact that the pavements don’t get cleaned as well as the roads do, so that it takes twice as long to walk anywhere than normal.

Another somewhat obvious thing that comes with this is the affected areas being damn cold to walk through. Even our houses aren’t safe from the scourge of coldness. I suppose in a way in a way it echoes the spirit of Christmas, a family lovingly huddled around a fire together to escape the cold. Did I mention this is January? The time for such festivity has been and gone.

The snowfall, when it comes properly, looks beautiful, pristine and gloriously untouched. Until everybody and their mothers go out and trample all over it and spoil the perfect ground. It gives us an insight into human nature, if we cannot see a nice piece of scenery without wanting to leave our mark on it and reduce it to a mere shadow of its previous beauty.

I don’t have anything against snow, per se; I think it looks beautiful and picturesque. What I really have a problem with is the fact that there is never snow when you want it, and when you do want it you don’t get it. If this is global warming in action, surely it could pick a better time?

* Call Mr. Plow, that’s my name, that name again is Mr. Plow!

** Or end horribly. I’m not sure which…

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