Search This Blog

07 February 2009

Winter like wot we used to 'ave.

Stone the crows! It's brass monkeys out there! My small fish pond has a layer of ice on it that's an inch thick. We haven't seen a winter like this for many a long year, and the country is ill prepared for it. That is the trouble with a proper winter coming upon you only once every few years - local authorities have no sound economic reason to invest in fleets of snow ploughs and mountains of road salt: it would all be sitting around in depots doing nothing.

Now, with the UK covered in snow and ice, Councils and the Highways Agency are running out of salt and grit, and are being selective in which roads they treat. Motorways and A roads are being looked after, but one wonders whether there is any point if one is unable to reach the major roads in the first place because the minor connecting roads are either impassable or ice rinks.

The other night in south Devon two hundred motorists were stranded in their cars for six hours, and people had to be taken to reception centres for food, warmth and sleep.

Then we come to the problem of accidents that shouldn't occur because they are caused by drivers who have had neither the experience nor the tuition for driving in ice and snow. They seem to expect their cars to behave in exactly the same way as they do under normal conditions.

Quite a winter we are having .. an ice cold economy in an ice cold climate.

On the day that London's buses all came to a halt last week, our capital city's eccentric mayor, Boris Johnson, was interviewed for TV and he said there was no reason why people should not make the effort to get into work, and if they couldn't, well - they could always work from home. So there you are, you lazy layabout teachers, nurses, doctors, surgeons, policemen, electricians, plumbers, utility workers, couriers, van and truck drivers .. you can work at home .. get stuck in!

Meanwhile the Bank of England is leaving those of us with a few quid in savings out in the freezing cold. The interest rate's been cut again - to 1 percent. What is this meant to achieve? Earlier cuts in interest achieved nothing, and I suspect this will achieve nothing. Do we now have to look forward to ZERO percent interest? I was interested to hear the other day that there are six times as many savers in the UK as there are borrowers. Our money is sitting around doing nothing for us, and people who rely on savings interest to live on are having a hard time.

I ventured out into the sub-zero climate this morning with a plastic bin liner, having made the rash promise at the height of summer to be "litter monitor" at the childrens' playground. The playground committee had most months covered by a rota of volunteers, but were lacking someone for the jolly month of February. So that's where yours truly steps into the breach.

I trudge down the frosty road to the playground, half fill my bag with plastic bottles, bits of paper and other assorted bits of rubbish thrown to the ground by half-wits that know no better and within 10 minutes I'm in the middle of another snow storm. So, it's back to the warmth of my house and a cup of coffee. I'll have another trudge down there with a plastic bag next Saturday. Something to look forward to.

No comments: