Archive for January 17th, 2013


It’s funny how the country reacts when impending doom in the form of snow flurries is on the horizon. I’ve been amused pretty much all day by the antics of those around me, whether it’s reading news reports online or seeing members of the public panic buying. And what are they panic buying? Well you’ll no doubt be surprised to hear that the most popular item on the receipt today is Cat Litter. I know. I too was astounded, so much so that I turned to the woman in question who was proclaiming that it solved all her problems and said simply, “Wut?”

Cat Litter, it seems, is the way to grit your pathways. Outside. It’s cheaper than buying dishwasher salt and anyway who wants to buy a perfectly good bag of salt and then tip it all over the concrete? (Never mind that the salt had already all sold out earlier that day). Since I was on my lunch break and buying a few essentials in preparation for the snow – Haribo, Spring Onions and Flora – I had a few minutes to pop to the greengrocers across the road and get some vegetables.

Snow flakes were heavily falling by this time, and the woman behind the counter was becoming increasingly excited. She exclaimed to me, “Are you here to stock up for the snow storm?” I smiled politely and nodded “yes” before reaching for a couple of sweet potatoes and quietly placing them on the counter. She stared at me in horror, “That’s it?” I wondered if I could launch into a loaves and fishes type story and tell her how I would split these potatoes between all the people in my neighbourhood – no – village…but I couldn’t be bothered. “Yes,” I said, “That really is…it.”

I went back out into the snow, which by this time was pretty much covering my car so that I could barely recognise it amongst all other panic buyers vehicles – and threw my potatoes in hurriedly to avoid them getting frostbite. I cleared the windscreen, which was pretty dirty by this time, and blinked at the flakes falling in front of me. There must have been at least eight of them.

Back on the road, the snow started getting faster – probably because I was driving faster. People in front of me were hitting their brakes and driving very slowly just in case and giving the gritters a wide berth. Too much of a wide berth. A mile between their car and the grit spreader was probably a little extreme. I decided that if it was going to snow a lot more than this, I would need to arm myself with screen wash for the car windscreen. Not that I’d be driving anywhere, if it snowed that much, but one has to look prepared.

I stopped by Halfords, the local car parts and bits shop. Inside a man in his forties was staring at some tyres wrapped in chains and scratching his head (actually literally scratching in confusion). He turned to me and said, “What on earth are they?” In a voice that made it sound like the tyres had just appeared from some alien spacecraft. I opened my mouth and decided to speak very slowly in case that was needed here, “Those…are…snow…chains…” I explained. “Christ,” he said, “It must be bad if they’ve got those in.” 

Back on the news, the Telegraph is warning readers that 10,000 people could be without heating this weekend. You might think that this was because of electricity failures due to heavy snow, or some such fault. But no… The Telegraph says it’s because when it snows, we all use our boilers 80% more than usual. Wrong. Actually once the snow has fallen, it gets pretty warm. Plus if you balance the coldness now with the warm winter we’ve had – everything is offset and…you get the picture. But it’s amusing nonetheless. Additionally, people in Northamptonshire were pelting gritters with rocks in frustration at their slowness.

I’m locking the doors tomorrow. And keeping the boiler turned off. I might also stay in bed. I’d hate to have to venture out because my boiler has stopped working and be pelted with rocks by angry people because I’m driving slow – never mind slip up in some kitty litter that’s covering my pathways. It just doesn’t bare thinking about.




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