Friday, 2 March 2018

Let's Be British And Talk About The Weather...



I have an apology to make.  I swore I was going to blog more often this year and yet in February, aside from my weekly children's bedtime story feature, I wrote the square root of nothing.  Zilch. 

So, here I am, with the first shiny, new blog of March and - like the stereotypical Brit I am - I'm going to talk about the weather.  Whilst slurping from a cup of tea and fantasising about eating a crumpet.  Tally ho, chin-chin, what-what.

Britain is famous for being rainy and kind of grey.  We're used to it.  We're almost weirdly proud of it.  But in the last couple of weeks, Britain has seen the kind of weather we're much less used to: snow.  Lots and lots of snow.


If I had a pound for every person who has referred to me as "Storm Emma" in the past week, I'd have... Well, probably only a fiver, but still, I'm poor and an extra fiver would be nice.

The thing is, I was guilty of thinking that both Storm Emma and "The Beast From The East" (why must weather have names?) were going to pass Cornwall by.  Let's be honest, we just don't get particularly bad snow, down here.  Bodmin Moor might get a dusting now and again in the winter, but for the rest of us, it's generally a case of just carrying on doing our thing, whilst the rest of the country gets all the white stuff.

A couple of weeks ago, it snowed enough for me to get excited about it.  I was at work, when the heavens opened and flakes started cascading down to Earth.  Just seeing snow was strange enough, but when it settled for long enough to take the nursery kids down into the garden and play in it for a while (it was meant to be them playing, but come on, this is me talking), that was a proper treat.  And, like the best treats, it disappeared way too soon.

That was that, or so we all thought.  That was Cornwall's snow quota for the next five years or so...

And then came this week.


My family in Birmingham had snow.  My family in London had snow.  Friends in Gloucestershire had snow.  Friends up North had snow.  Cornwall... Well, we were sort of expecting a mild dusting that lasted about two minutes before melting. 

Or at least, I was.

You see, I had some kind of weird belief that I knew better than the weather forecasters.  The MET Office issued a severe weather warning and I just sort of... Scoffed.  It worries me that I take the idea of randomly stumbling upon a hitherto undiscovered ability to travel through time more seriously than I do the threat of adverse weather, but hey.  I've watched a lot of sci-fi.

So, when schools started to close on Tuesday/Wednesday, I figured it was surely just an overreaction.  Even by yesterday morning, when the weather app on my phone was telling me there was a 90% chance of heavy snowfall, I was still pretty sure that I was feistier than Storm Emma would turn out to be.  At least down here, anyway.

Aaaaand then it started to snow. 

And snow.

And snow.

And continue to snow.



By late afternoon, I was sitting in my room (having been sent home from work due to the weather), watching snow fall until I couldn't tell where the driveway outside the house actually ended and the pavement began.  Kids started sledging down the street.  The dog went outside and was monumentally confused.  Plans were cancelled, cupboards were checked to ensure we'd survive such a BLIZZARD and many photos were taken and put on Facebook, just in case anyone online wasn't sure as to who had snow and how much of it they had.

I conceded that maybe - just maybe - Tomasz Schafernaker was more than just a dude on telly, whose name my Mum adores, and actually his weather-predictions had been spot on. 

Of course, today, almost all of the snow has gone (at least where I am).  Little piles of brown-tinged sludge are dotted around and most people's back gardens have the odd white patches left, but other than that, you'd never know yesterday even happened.  Up country, lots of my friends and family members still have plenty of snow and I'm told other areas of Cornwall still have it too, but right here, it's been and gone.

Probably for the best, seeing as I've got to drive places this weekend and I have history when it comes to skidding on ice and ending up in a hedge...


It's not as though Cornwall has battled against the most almighty storm since storms began, or anything.  I'm sure readers from places like Canada are throwing their heads back and laughing at the idea of us Brits, huddled around the fireplace when the temperature outside drops to minus five and making a big fuss when there's all of about two inches of snow on the ground.  But for the people of Cornwall, who - I can't say this enough - just don't get this type of thing, usually, the last couple of days have been a pretty big event.

Besides, if nothing else, over the last forty eight hours or so, I learned an important lesson about not being so quick to mock predictions, just because the predicted things don't have a habit of happening very often.  And from now on, I promise to concede that the MET office probably knows more about the weather than some short girl with unmanageable hair does.

I was going to end this by also promising to write more often, but...  Well, I'll try, how's that?!







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