This is being written from eastern Canada where we get a lot of snow, where it gets jolly cold and where life goes on. In the past few days the news has been filled with two stories – one a big dump of snow hitting the eastern US and the other being the inability of channel tunnel trains to function in snowy weather.
Some thoughts …
Firstly, the US snow. Apparently Washington got more snow in a day than it’s ever had (and a policeman pulled his gun on some kids who snowballed his car – but that’s a side issue) and the end of the world had come. A couple of weeks a go Montreal got twice what Washington received in a day and barely noticed the inconvenience. Accepting that we get it more often and so the US cannot be expected to have the same infrastructure that we do to deal with it, but equally they know that their climate will probably melt it all away in a couple of days so one asks, ‘what’s the problem?” Hard to understand why they don’t just slow down, relax, build a snowman and wait for normal service to be resumed. The end of civilisation as we know it has not arrived quite yet. Note: this is not a piece of anti-Americanism … the same comments are equally apposite when directed at the UK which also benefited from snow this past week and seems to have gone into deep shock and horror mode with half the population driving their cars into the nearest ditch and the other half demanding that the government “do something about it”). Message to inhabitants of the US and the UK … the white stuff is cold and slippery. Wear a thicker coat, put on some boots and drive carefully. It will melt tomorrow.
Now the channel tunnel trains. It is now revealed that cause of the breakdowns was that trains sucked dry snow into their engines which then (surprise) warmed up inside the tunnel and caused a short because the trains are electric. Total chaos again, no more trains before the holiday, headless chickens running around blaming everybody else and so on. A commentator here suggested that they fix the problem in the tried and tested Canadian way by resorting to a sheet of cardboard and some duct tape when it snows – get the trains moving again inside an hour. They could also try designing trains to handle this stuff called “weather’ of course – that would be a good idea.
Nothing like a bit if righteous superiority, is there? I feel better now … but seriously, stuff happens – deal with it.