Friday, January 08, 2010

The day the map turned white

This picture  (courtesy of NASA) shows Great Britain from space today - almost completely covered in snow. I know that those people who are used to snowy winters must think we are very wimpish, with the whole country brought to a standstill by a few days of bad weather. The problem is that because this might only happen to us once or twice in a hundred years, we are not prepared. We don't have the equipment to shift the snow, the means of getting around in it, the right clothes, houses or temperament to deal with it. Six more days of snow and ice to come, we are told. Will we survive?

The day brought some good news:  our cricket team held on desperately for a draw in the Test match against South Africa. We are now in a position where England cannot lose the series. If we win or draw the third match, then we win the series. South Africa cannot win the series; they need to win the third match in order to draw the series. Simple really, like all the rules of cricket!

Another piece of good news - Jonathan Ross is to leave the BBC. Perhaps the Beeb will have enough money to show some cricket next year.

The country might have had a third reason to celebrate today had the challenge to Gordon Brown's leadership succeeded but he survived to lead Labour to what will probably be an ignominious defeat in the general election. (That is almost a non-partisan view as this area is a safe Liberal Democrat seat.)

Well, at least we can keep on building snowmen for a few more days. Keep safe and warm.


  1. fascinating photo .
    My Mum has promised to stay indoors (86 and frail but still lives on her own) My Brother is in snowy Suffolk and my sister in the Midlands it sounds really snowy!
    Stay warm!

  2. Val
    You must find this highly amusing, given your annual snowfall! I'm glad that you have persuaded your mother to stay indoors to keep safe. I had an email from the local police, asking for details of any elderly neighbours so that they could fetch shopping and medicines for them. Everyone is looking out for one another.

  3. Of course down this end of the world we are going into a heatwave. Fires are more likely to be our problem over the coming days.
    At least we can share a crow about cricket. Oz pulled of a miracle to beat Pakistan in the test here.

  4. Thang goodness Ross has gone. I can't bear his programmes on Tv and although I like the music on the radio, I won't listen on principle!
    Dreading the gas bill...

  5. Al
    Fires must be dreadful, far worse than snow and ice. I hope everyone remains safe.

    As it isn't the Ashes we are talking about, I'll congratulate your team's success. But England vs Oz would be a different story!

  6. Rattling On
    I've never understood how the BBC justified cutting out sports coverage and decent dramas in favour of the kind of shows that Ross fronts. Surely his fans are all out enjoying themselves on Friday nights, not watching tv.

  7. Ross I can take or leave (mostly leave) but sadly cricket wouldn't do it for me at all, M. Or any sport come to that - I think I must be missing that vital sport-loving gene. (Although I know from a good many friends that I'm not alone in this so don't feel quite such a misfit as I used to.) But live music, or really good dance or some groundbreaking drama (ie encouraging new writers; I think we're absolutely fine for the costume stuff). And I would never, ever say no to more of Andrew Graham-Dixon fronting more arts programmes. Or that wonderful Scot who presents Coast and The History of Scotland. Yes, more of them. Definitely!

  8. Yes I had in mind that we could be neutral given it wasn't the ashes.
    Last time I was in UK was in summer 2005, just as we lost the ashes. It was a most uncomortable, time with every Brit crowing when they picked my accent.

  9. D, For years I thought every family spent summer weekends at cricket matches cheering on their fathers and uncles! I suppose it is in the blood. I would happily watch all those other programmes that you suggest as well.

  10. Al, I would hate to crow but I bet you were glad not to be in UK last summer! Sorry, I couldn't help that, we don't often get the chance to boast to an Australian about our cricket record.

  11. I cannot believe that photo! It is beautiful but to think of all of you under that layer of snow, well, it's not a pleasant thought. I met a woman and her husband who were here on holiday from Lincolnshire while I was at work today. She was surprised to see snow here in Georgia and at how cold it is. Wait until she gets home!
    BBC America just started airing Jonathan Ross' show but I haven't seen it. I don't watch much BBC America any more. Usually only the Antiques Roadshow and Hotel Inspector. When will they bring back Alan Titchmarsh!? :(
    Stay warm and eat lots of soup.

  12. I'm not really going to miss Jonathan Ross either. Did he really merit the money? I don't think his shows were that much of a hit.

  13. Karin
    I don't think Jonathan Ross will go down very well in America at all - by the time the beeper has finished you won't know what he has been talking about!

    I am planning to dig my car out of the snow and venture out for the first time today. The snow is fine, it is the hidden ice that worries me. I expect by next weekend all of this will be but a memory and we won't get another winter like it for 50 years.

  14. Sarah, even if his shows were aimed at a general audience and of the highest calibre, he still wouldn't deserve millions of pounds a year from the licence fees!


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