Random reflections on a snowy week

1. I have a kind of phobia of ice – or perhaps, more to the point, a phobia of falling on icy ground and smacking my face in.  When I’m dithering in the middle of an icy car park or stretch of pavement, contemplating my easiest route to the patch of soft-ish snow at the edge, I literally feel sick.  No joke – sick, light-headed and panicky.  Even in robust walking boots, I have no confidence whatsoever when walking on snow, slush or ice.  I mince along like an 88-year-old, clinging frantically to anything – lamp posts, cars, random people – for dear life.

2. In this wintry weather there are people, usually postmen, who insist on strolling around half naked, in shorts or without coats, scarves, etc.  And they are the ones who stare at me, togged up in thermals and waterproofs that would make Scott of the Antarctic look ill-equipped, as though I have two heads.

3. The rail companies need to get their act together.  Seriously.  I have been reliant on public transport to get to work this week as I am too much of a wuss to drive on the white stuff, and the delays have been extraordinary.  A “signal problem” was blamed for the long hold-ups for a couple of days.  What does that even mean??  And the “wrong” kind of snow being on the track…!!  On Thursday train after train was cancelled, and I was half an hour late for work.  Call me tight, but I shall be making my claim for compensation from the rail network.  I’ll only get a couple of quid, but it’s the principle.

4. Who else needs to get their act together?  The road gritters, as mythological as Santa.  I haven’t seen a single one this last week.

5. Ditto the binmen, who apparently couldn’t make it along our road this week in their heavy-duty trucks, presumably due to “elf and safety,” meaning that the trash is stacking up.  Pathetic.

6. I felt about 95 on said train one day this week when I overheard a group of lads discussing learning about “something called the Dunblane massacre” in history class!  I remember that tragedy like it was yesterday.  I was 19 and at college when it happened.  These kids (and how ancient do I sound saying “These kids”??) were not born at that time, so I can’t blame them for not having heard of it.  Plenty of tragedies occurred before I was born, of course, and I remember my mum being mortified when I was learning about the 1960s – her heyday – in history when I was at school.  I just found it a rather poignant reflection on the passage of time and the way events fade into the past.

7. Thankfully the snow and train delays did not impede me from seeing either the hilarious panto Robinson Crusoe at the Birmingham Hippodrome, starring Brian “It’s a puppet!” Conley, or the wonderful Strictly Come Dancing Live show at the NIA last weekend.  It seemed typical of my luck that the only two shows I had booked this year, so far, should be placed in potential jeopardy by the grotty weather.  But I “battled” through, and was superbly entertained.

8. As you may have gathered, I am sick to death of the snow now, and can only hope the promised big thaw is on its way.