The headlines of a Scottish national newspaper after a couple of days of snow. A few inches is all its takes for the headline writers to whip themselves into a frenzy about the chaos to ensue.
It is true that some schools and roads are closed, some flights and trains are canceled, some workplaces have closed early and there may be a financial cost to bear.
According to David Lonsdale, assistant director of the Council of British Industry in Scotland:
Time is money but if construction workers can’t finish a building they are working on because of a couple of days of snow will it really cost Scotland millions? Can’t they do overtime to make up for it? Surely the builders’ clients only have to look outside their windows to see the pretty solid and cold excuse for any delay. And anyway it wouldn’t be the first time a building job has overrun – with or without snow to contend with!
Enjoy the snow and the beauty of the lightly speckled winter scenery and don’t panic. Pavements do get icy and people do fall over. Trains get canceled and people do have to make other arrangements. But it’s good to fall over or have your train canceled now and again because it reminds us that we are only human.
As much as we like to think we are in control: we are not. We are vulnerable and nature does us a service by collectively reminding us all that we need each other. Strangers pull together for the few snowy days. Cars get pushed up hills and neighbours who never talk help clear each others pathways.
There is also the joy of sledging and snowball fights. These are not just the pleasure of the young. Parents, some of whom must stay off work for their children, have the pleasure of dressing them up warm, and trailing them on sledges to the park to enjoy the snow. A fun and loving time that would not otherwise be shared.
The snow also provides some much needed excitement into the working week. Workers chatter about the latest snowfall and the chances of finishing early. It provides some excitement and it unites us all. We don’t have to tune in for it. There is no reality TV snow show where celebrities compete for our affections by overcoming snowy days.
We get to experience this directly for ourselves. We can put on hold living vicariously through those slightly more famous than us for a few days at least!
This is a call to welly boots, salopettes and wooly gloves.
Forget the cost.
Embrace the chaos and chill out!
by David Paterson
Thanks to Edinburgh filmmaker and photographer Julien Pearly for providing some of the images.