The Brits are obsessed with snow, almost to a hysterical degree. As the first flake fell my local radio station posted a Tweet reading ‘BREAKING NEWS: #snow warning has gone from yellow to amber for the East of England. It’s on it’s way!” Clearly the gravity of the situation had affected their punctuation skills.
But, seriously? Are they for real? When did the UK develop a crisis-level traffic-light system for measuring snowfall? It’s snow, not an incoming nuclear warhead. Twitter descended into frenzy around the #uksnow hashtag, people announced with tremendous self-importance ‘The snow is falling where I am! Please be careful out there! #uksnow’. I know there’s sodding snow, I can see it out of my window using the magical power of eyesight. TV news warned of dire conditions, and requested viewers to send in their pictures of what snow looks like. Snow-pocalypse terror spread throughout the nation.
This new, and frankly weird, tendency to create and further syndicate social-scaremongering about things we used to consider perfectly innocuous, and indeed normal for the time of year, makes me irate – to the point that the prominent vein on my left temple begins to throb. It is neither a rational nor adult way for a population to react when the weather turns inclement. I just want to give the UK a slap and tell it to pull itself together. Other countries don’t have this problem – yes, I already know that the standard rebuttal to this point is ‘Ah, but other countries experience conditions like this all the time’. Yes, that is true, but we usually get snow annually and that’s enough to warrant taking simple steps to help oneself. This morning I stood on a frozen rail-station platform. I was wearing two t-shirts, a thick hoodie, a down jacket, a thermal beanie and a pair of waterproof gloves – the man next to me wore nothing more than a suit and smooth-soled brogues. I swear his lips were turning blue.