Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Snow, snow, snow...

There's snow - and then there's snow.

Inuits have 40 words for snow, or so I thought until I learnt it is nothing but a modern-day myth. Maybe it is just that Inuits don't bother to talk so much about it - they just live with it?

In the UK, snow has caused a lot of disruption, and still does. I just heard on the news, there have been around 80 complaints by police about snow ball throwing. Sounds like the consequenses of a normal Swedish school lunch break to me.

As a Swede who spent my childhood playing in the snow, making snow huts and snowmen, playing hockey in the then rather empty streets - cursing the gritting lorry when it arrived - I obviously find this ado about nothing rather amusing and wimpish. But, at the same time, I realise the significant economic implications which would occur, were the UK to prepare the nation in the same way as us Nordic countries do. As it happens so rarely - would it be worth doing?

It might be grim up North, but at least we all have very well insulated houses, central heating and double glazing. Once you are indoors - you're fine. By law, cars and buses have to be equipped with tyres that cope with any frozen, uphill slope. Plus the snow that falls on the roads is actually shifted and taken away.

A true sign of Spring is when specially made vehicles come and sweep up all remaining grit on the streets - once the snow has gone. Fine, dry dust flying off in the much welcome Spring sunshine, icicles dripping and dropping from roof drainpipes and gables.

Oh well - we're soon there!

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