Monday, 20 December 2010

Arrrghh Snow Panic Nightmare Arctic Chaos

Travel chaos caused by the UK's freezing weather continues as anger grows over major disruption at Heathrow airport.
Thousands of people face further disruption to their Christmas travel plans as cold weather continues to grip much of the country.
Southern England and south Wales were among those in the "firing line" for Monday, said BBC weather forecaster Helen Willetts, with 5-10cm of snowfall that could coincide with both the morning and evening rush hours.
No, sorry.  This is rubbish.

The UK does not have a problem with snow.

I'll say that again.

The UK does not have a problem with snow.  

What it has a problem with, is idiots.  People who were given a driving licence despite their IQ being less than their shoe size.  People who cannot realise that if you set off in an unsuitable car then you may well get stuck.  Therefore, either be prepared to get stuck, or don't go.  It's really not that hard.

Equally, airlines often have problems when the weather is difficult.  This is not news.  It has been known widely since, err, airlines started operating.  So, if the weather is iffy, be prepared to spend a long time in the departure lounge.  Or don't go, if your journey is not important enough.

I speak as someone who, a year ago this week, managed to get his car thoroughly stuck in snow. Someone who, a month ago, spent a considerable time in departure lounges trying to get on a flight for a Hearing that, yes, was important enough (despite the fact that I lost).  Did I demand an apology from the Minister for Transport?  No.  I made my own way home and prepared myself better next time.

So wake up, people.  Just because we can make the pretty moving pictures appear on the magic box in the corner, just because we can let you talk to Aunty Hilda in Australia even though you're in the checkout queue in Tesco, doesn't mean we can actually do magic.  It doesn't mean that your little life can be totally divorced from physical reality.  It doesn't mean that you have an absolute unfettered right to get anywhere you want, on time, without additional effort, whatever the conditions.  Grow up, and learn how to drive in snow.

(Yes, the Land Rover worked well today, thanks...)

Update 21/12/10: In support of my argument that the drivers of this land are idiots, I give you this photo.  Spot the problem... no prizes on offer, sadly.  (Or... is it just BMW drivers?)  


  1. No matter how well prepared you are, how many space-age gadgets you have at your disposal, always remember the forces of nature are huge, and you are tiny and insignificant.

    Except where your ability to alter the global weather patterns by eating meat/heating your house/travelling around is concerned, of course! ;)

  2. I think it's fair to say everybody should have a Land Rover (any model, though snow tyres required on the Freelander) and just carry on as normal. If so, there would be no one getting stuck, no one needing rescue and lorries would be able to carry on as normal, with the odd tow out.

  3. Julia - spot on!

    Hi FunRover - welcome to the blog. I'd certainly agree with that approach - and they're good fun for the rest of the year as well.

  4. and they're good fun for the rest of the year as well.

    And they are more effective than other vehicles at fighting global cooling.

  5. 'Fraid not, Albert. Defenders tend to go on for so long, and are so simple, that their dust-to-dust ("lifetime cycle") impact is quite low. Mine, for example, is 8 years old, has done 105,000 miles, and is still going strong - seemingly in good mechanical order. Plenty of life left in it yet - as borne out by the many Defenders & Land Rovers before it that are decades old and still serving.

    ::[crosses fingers]::

    ::[takes deep breath]::

    So I can't claim that benefit for them.

  6. I'm sorry to hear that you are not being as environmentally responsible in playing your part to combat global warming as I thought.

  7. Well said but, as we know, some things never change...