Let’s be positive about seasonal snow: after all, isn’t it supposed to be like this in the winter?
1. It’s enchanting: who can resist that delicate white blanket covering the bleak, brown earth, the ethereal icicles and frozen cobwebs decorating naked trees and bushes, or the blood orange sunsets reflecting on the glistening silver landscape?
2. This unexpected beauty lifts spirits at the darkest, most dismal and depressing time of the year and the special light helps counter the onset of SAD and other seasonal afflictions.
3. For those of us who do get out and about in the winter, soft clean snow and sharp sunny days beat waterlogged fields and persistent rain and wind any day.
4. It’s an ideal excuse to wear those down jackets, salopettes and four-season boots in the conditions they were originally designed for.
5. While motorways are gridlocked, airports closed and trains cancelled, those who travel by boot and bike (this is when your off-roader with chunky tyres comes into its own) arrive at their destinations with the bonus of a little more exercise and unhindered by the usual volume of motorised traffic.
6. The conditions have forced drivers to be more careful and cut their speed, so making the streets safer (give or take the odd slip) for children, pedestrians and well-equipped cyclists.
7. In an age of video conferencing, Skype and the internet, the experience of the last week should encourage sensible employers to offer more opportunities for flexibility and working from home. And, schools could look north to Scotland, where GLOW, the world’s first national intranet for education, allows joined-up working for pupils and teachers, in and out of the classroom.
8. Children across the country, including teenagers in lowland Britain who have reached adolescence without ever experiencing this level of snow, literally on their doorsteps, have enjoyed a few days of traditional winter sports: the novelty, camaraderie and excitement of actual, as opposed to virtual, activity outdoors far outweighing any educational damage from a few days out of school.
9. It’s a timely – in the week of the UN climate conference – and salient reminder that we can never take nature for granted.
10. Adverse weather is one of the few topics that gets reserved Brits talking to each other and it also tends to heighten our awareness of and concern towards the old and the vulnerable, as well as wildlife in our locality.