rewboss

Open letter to the UK

Open letter to the UK

Dear citizens of the UK,

right now, I am sitting at home in rural Germany, and about an inch of snow has fallen since breakfast. And it’s still falling. Here’s what it looks like:

Photo of snowy scene (46kB) Photo of snowy scene (59kB) Photo of snowy scene (51kB) Photo of snowy scene (59kB)

Now, I think you’ll agree that it looks all nice and picturesque and wintry, but it is the horrible, heavy wet snow that slithers down the back of your collar and won’t stick together to make a decent snowman, but it is snow. But there are a few important things to note:

  1. Schools did not close down.
  2. My wife drove to work, as did everyone else.
  3. The weather bureau did not issue warnings to drivers telling them to stay home unless their journey is absolutely necessary.
  4. The postman came.
  5. The country has not ground to a halt.
  6. The village is not full of stranded and/or jack-knifed articulated trucks.
  7. The trains are running.
  8. Nobody is panicking about “Arctic conditions”.

I mention this because yesterday, if what I read in the papers is anything to go by, parts of Britain where “up to an inch of snow” fell were just short of declaring a state of emergency. Two hundred schools closed in the north of England alone because some of the teachers were up to their ankles in snow.

Let me get a few things straight:

  1. -2°C does not constitute “Arctic conditions”. -2°C is a bit frosty. If you want Arctic conditions, try -20°C.
  2. Winter tyres have special treads to cope with an inch of snow; they’re also specially formulated to stay supple at lower temperatures. If everyone else in central and northern Europe can be bothered to change their tyres twice a year, so can you.
  3. One inch of snow is nothing. If today the promised eight inches arrive all at once, you may be justified in having a bit of trouble, but not before.
  4. Keep the gears high and the revs low, accellerate gently and don’t slam on the brakes. You will get there. A bit late, maybe, but you will get there.
  5. With one inch of snow, the main roads more or less clear themselves, just from the cars driving up and down them.
  6. If a wheel starts spinning, take your foot off the accellerator, put something with a bit of traction under the wheel, and then gently does it. You may need somebody to give you a little push.
  7. Finally, these conditions are not unprecedented. This happens very nearly every year in Britain, and has been happening for as long as I can remember. Yet every year you pretend to be surprised and act as if you’ve never seen snow before. Stop it. Nobody else is impressed, and my wife’s family think you’re all a bunch of pansies.

Yours eye-rollingly,

rewboss