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  Europe
Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful
Snow in Spring Brings Chaos to Parts of the UK
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
Snow in spring brings chaos to Parts of the UK.

Ah, Spring – a time of new life, new hope, a time when the spring lambs are being born, little hatchlings are singing in their nests...and a tow truck is dragging a lorry out of the ditch it slid into during heavy snowfall. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this picture?

On 31st March – in Spring – heavy snow fell on parts of the UK, bringing the usual chaos. In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 300 people had to be rescued from their vehicles after they got stuck in the snow. More than 48,000 homes in Northern Ireland and 15,000 in Scotland are without power as snow and heavy winds wreaked havoc. The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning as forecasters predict heavy snowfall in Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as high parts of England and Wales.

Pardon my ignorance, but shouldn’t we be out planting flowers and doing a bit of weeding at this time of year instead of scraping snow off our cars and clearing it off the path? It seems like our seasons here in the UK are gradually blending into one. Of course, the environmental lobby will be shouting “global warming” but I’m still undecided on this. I want a bit more evidence before I throw my hat in with that theory.

Chief Inspector Steven Cargin of the Northern Ireland police service has talked about the rescue operation which took place in Glenshane Pass, just outside of Londonderry. Police, mountain rescue, and coastguard workers were involved, and the stranded motorists were taken to Dungiven Leisure Centre, in Derry. Then there was a power cut, and they had to be moved to nearby Limavady and Maghera.

People over here always talk about Britain’s “Blitz spirit”, and how although the Germans rained bombs down on London during the Second World War people still got on with their lives. We saw that spirit in evidence again with the terrorist bombings of 7/7. These same people then go on to say, “Yeah, the Germans and the terrorists couldn’t stop us, but a bit of snow falls and the country grinds to a halt.”

Well, yes, of course it does. This is because of Britain’s other trait, the “Duvet spirit”, which describes our yearning for the odd day off work now and then. We’ve all done it: The alarm goes off in the morning and that duvet feels just too warm and cosy to get out of. So, we “pull a sickie”, as we say over here; we call into work and say we have one of those mysterious 24-hour viruses that cripple us one day and leave us bouncing around full of life the next. So, in the tradition of the Duvet spirit, snowfall is a day off work waiting to happen. The slightest dusting of snow becomes a twelve-foot drift when you’re describing it to your boss as the reason you can’t come in to work today. A little patch of white on the road outside your house becomes an impassable hazard that you dare not risk. It’s time people cottoned on to this fact.

I would never wish to trivialise this severe weather, because it must be terrible for those in the thick of it. There have been power outages, flooding and even landslips, and there is more to come. Flood warnings have been issued in parts of the UK as the snow melts, which could mean real damage to people’s homes and property. Those affected by this have my deepest sympathies.

However, let us not be hypocritical. The tag line of this article is the first line of a popular Christmas song called “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”. There’s also, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, and “Walking in a winter wonderland”. So, if it snows on December 25th it’s a beautiful Christmas card scene which makes our Christmas time complete – if it snows any other time, it’s something close to a natural disaster. Make your minds up, people.



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Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.

 

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