Friday, 6 February 2009

Snow.. Cold.. Ice.. Twice.. Nice

Twice this week I have been 'forced' not to attend my usual work location, Exeter, due to rather unusual cold and icy conditions in the normally temperate southwest. The last week has been a veritable paradise for children and salt vendors, whilst the rest of us have attempted valiantly to make the trek to work, facing wrecked cars, jack-knifing articulates, errant gritting vehicles and other wintry joys. I had some car trouble during the first dumping of white stuff; my car battery died. Possibly due to my leaving the lights on but I blamed the cold/snow/moon anyway. I was able to limp home, but spent the following day in the flat waiting for a nice man to replace my battery, which he did at 3pm (I believe some folk operate a mysterious 'time lag' when booking appointments to visit, as this chap operated a four hour time lag having told me he would arrive at 11am..)

Secondly, today, I woke to find a part of the only true main road in Devon (at least east of Exeter) blocked by cars abandoned by those caught up in a blizzard the previous night. No blame here, as I travelled that part of the A38 only two hours prior to its snowy onslaught - in fact I rather precariously took a pic whilst driving through some early flakes (above - apologies for the poor quality folks).
There have been complaints from some quarters which alluded to a lack of preparation (on the part of local authorities), lack of salt, and a lack of equipment to cope with this 'once in twenty years' event. For my two cents, I have been impressed with the response from the local services, and the local residents of places hit by this event.
It would be folly to pay for equipment to deal with huge amounts of snow, when this equipment would hardly be used. The economic hit of a few days snow is not going to scupper the world's business upturn i'll wager? So all credit to Devon council - ooh it hurts to praise a council - for getting the big yellow gritters out, and keeping the majority of Devon running through a tricky patch - at least my part of Devon..

I spent today in the Plymouth office, where I was ably taken care of by the redoubtable Marg, who provided me with a delightful tray of goodness, which I share with you above.. Joy..

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