Tuesday 3 February 2009

Snow problem at all

Triumph in the face of adversity, that old British Dunkirk spirit, oft quoted in newspapers may have been at large in snow-capped south-east England this week.
While the determined few (or those that lived around the corner) battled against the trials and tribulations of road closures and public transport hold ups to get to their offices, the rest of the region pretty much enjoyed a day off.
The joy of it was - given that most people knew they couldn't get to work - they felt freed to let their hair down and enjoy. So consequently, there were hundreds of people in parks all over London with sledges, snowboards and even bits of plastic - just looking for a spot to scream down a hill.
And when you pulled on your boots, and headed out into the white, people started nodding and saying "hello" as you marched up hills or along pavements where no one usually grunts a greeting even if they do know you.
What appeared to be at large was a bit of rare community spirit as we all had fun in the face of adversity. There appeared to be more people having fun and just feeling free of work than even over the Christmas period, when although many of us were nominally not at work there was still checking email and making the odd phone call to be made.
Maybe the old "Save our Sundays" campaign had something sensible to say after all, when they argued against shops and supermarkets opening extensively on Sunday. They wanted to keep Sunday special. And now it seems like we don't get any time off any more: not a single day when we breathe in, and don't go shopping, and don't check our work email. Not at all.
And the day of the giant London snowfall just seemed to be just that, an absolute day off; a day of rest and breathing, where we could all forget for a moment all the trials and tribulations of the economy, and throw a snowball or make a snowman.

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