Tuesday, 30 November 2021

From snow and ice to drizzle and mud. And lack of compassion.

 What a difference a day makes! From a good couple of inches of snow crunching underfoot yesterday to just the odd bit drifted against dry stone walls on the hillside and a lonely abandoned snowman in the corner of a garden this morning. The rain washed it away overnight. The mill pond was still partly frozen this morning but otherwise we seem to be back to just averagely cold rather than absolutely freezing! I was more at risk of slipping on mud than on ice when I ran this morning and, for the first time in a while, I returned home with wet feet. 

Several people I met said how pleased they were to see the back of the snow. That reaction always surprises me. There’s something exciting and uplifting about a walk in the snow. Maybe we need to learn to adapt to the weather in this country, make sure we are all dressed for the weather and that roads and the like are cleared. For example, my daughter arrived for work at a local primary school to find that the carpark was still deep in snow, as was the playground. They share a caretaker with another school and he had been unable to deal with both sites. The children weren’t allowed out to play, although one might have thought that provided they had decent footwear, building snowmen and throwing snowballs would have done them no harm. As it was they were confined indoors all day and just got slightly more and more hyper as the day went on. 

As she told me this, her five-year-old chimed in with the announcement that she had played out two times. Her school’s caretaker had made sure the playgrounds were safe to run around in. And they are fortunate enough to have a big grassy area where those who wanted to experience snow could do so. 

Today is just grey and drizzly. The drizzle started while I was out running and has continued ever since. I don’t suppose this drizzly weather is any more welcome than snow to those in tents on the French coast. Those interviewed by news reporters say they are still trying to get to the UK - some have relatives here they are trying to reunite with - and are prepared to risk that Channel crossing.

I read a report about people trying to block a RNLI lifeboat from setting out to sea from Hastings. Apparently they were shouting, “don’t bring any more of those home, we’re full up, that’s why we stopped our donations”. The police were called and the lifeboat successfully launched. This was a week or more ago, when 27 people had already been lost in the Channel. When did we become such a hardhearted country that we could deny rescue to people in the icy water of the Channel in November?

It’s time the politicians brought their supposed diplomacy to work on finding an international solution. For it seems as though the problem is just going to get worse as time goes by. 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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