Every year it happens: we have a few flakes of snow, and the country seems to come to a standstill. I’m not sure why it is, but Britain’s infrastructure or its people seem positively incapable of keeping going if there is any extreme of weather – whatever it is…
On Thursday evening, we were told that ‘Siberian’ style weather systems would be moving in and, as a result, don’t consider travelling, unless absolutely necessary to do so – and, if you must travel, then make sure you pack some clothes, food and a shovel in the boot. Wow… up to this point, the worst hit parts of the UK had received 2-3 inches of snow, and the rest of the East nothing more than a couple of inch’s worth.
When the ‘extreme’ weather system hit yesterday morning, I couldn’t help but chuckle, because all we got here, was cold drizzle. A road in East Yorkshire was snowed in for a while, but that seemed to be about it – and that was probably down to nothing more than a broken down truck or some such.
Anti-climax, but things go wrong
I’d imagine that if a Siberian actually experiences winter weather like this, they’d be feeling as though they were enjoying an Indian summer – trust me, I know (one of my former work colleagues was from Siberia, and she was full of tales of how the weather was back home)…
So, in reality, we didn’t get a blast of Arctic weather, or anything like it.
And yet, why was it in the first day or so of snow, we were bombarded with reports of road closures, accidents and mayhem? Are we so poor coping with changes in weather? If it snows, we get stuck in drifts; if it rains for a couple of days, somewhere floods; and if it is hot, we suffer from water shortages…
I love the snow
Personally speaking, when I saw the dusting of snow we received, I felt a child-like wave of excitement. And after brisk walk in it, I jumped in the car, and drove out to a big and deserted car park nearby to practice handbraking and drifting the Saab.
No one was around, no one was in danger and, in the process, I learned a thing or two about how the old bus handles when it slides. Okay, hooning around in the snow isn’t big or clever but, at that time, it was perfectly safe, and I learned a thing or two about controlling a skid in that car. Better there, than on the roads – and sometime in the future, on a slippy road in the middle of the night, that kind of knowledge might come in handy.
So, the next time it snows a little, don’t stay at home whingeing about the bad weather, get out, find somewhere empty, and hone your driving skills…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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