Friday, February 6, 2009

Snow Snow Snow

Here in the UK, the big guy in the sky only typically allows one, maybe two days of noticeable snowfall per year. In the past week, it has snowed for six days. In Cambridgeshire, many students have only had two or three days in the classroom over the corresponding time frame. But why? Despite the unusual frequency of the snowfall, no day saw more than 2 inches of snow. Even when the snow was falling thick and fast, as in this morning, Cambridge kept ticking along. For a first, the trains were early and there appeared to be little delay for buses in the city center. My surprise that school remained open emanated more from the pattern established by the surprise closings the previous few days rather than any serious concern over our safety and well being. Evidently, the school bore no real such concerns as well - teachers and staff had no real problem with the pitched snowball battles on and around campus so I gradually became used to the idea that school was going to be on. With exams creeping ever closer, we simply can't afford to miss more school time. Thankfully, the school coped well today with the snow so with any luck we have seen the last of the disturbances.
This isn't a complete knock on the government infrastructure here. Whilst so-called pragmatism has seen the economy take a £3 billion hit and grit supplies all but eliminated, the country has proven that a few inches of snow are quite a small obstacle to overcome. Obviously in more westerly regions such as Dorset, which saw over 20 inches of snow in places, severe disruption is inevitable but such conditions were rare across the country as a whole. The problem was more the inexperience of dealing with the snow rather than any practical problems caused by it. That is a mercifully small barrier to overcome so with any luck, normality will return within the coming days.

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