Saturday, 11 February 2012

Be Prepared

A picture from the inside of my car window this morning.

If you hail (excuse the pun) from outside the UK, you might notice that us Brits love to talk about the weather. I'm not sure why and I know that when extremes of weather hit, it doesn't matter where in the world you come from, it's a real talking point. Perhaps as a nation of shop-keepers (a disparaging remark - according to the French) and farmers (a proud statement - according to me) the weather is so important. There are a couple of blogging friends who live and work on farms and the weather I guess is crucial to planning, cost and ultimate success and perhaps survival as a business.

We've had our second spell of snowy weather in the last few days and although a lot of the snow has gone, huge blankets of snow still adorn open spaces but the weather is now so cold. Side roads and footpaths remain firmly frozen and covered in packed ice. Friends are blogging and Facebooking that they are experiencing minus 10 and minus 12 degrees Celsius last night as the skies cleared. My car clock showed minus 5 degrees at 10 o'clock this morning.

The weather of course affects our every day life and whether you are in 30 degrees of sun or minus 30 degrees of frost, you adapt everything accordingly. We dress accordingly, we heat or cool our homes accordingly, we make travel plans accordingly and many aspects of our behaviour change when we have an extreme of weather that is unexpected.  

 For example, just taking a typical day this week:
  • I get up half an hour earlier to make sure I have time to clean the car of frost and ice and take extra time for my journey to work to get me there safely.
  • I often wait until I get to work to have breakfast, but this time I made and ate porridge before I left the house.
  • I look up the weather forecast on the Internet before I leave.
  • The house heating is adjusted up to make sure there are no problems. The scarf and hat and gloves are dug out of the cupboard and a sturdier pair of shoes are used. Jumpers are worn throughout the day even at work in the office. 
  • A hot meal at lunch and tea for energy and warmth (which I think is probably a myth anyway).
  • Close the curtains early and close internal doors to maintain warmth.
  • Extra sheet on the bed, central heating on for an extra couple of hours a day.
Much of this costs more and takes more time and with over one million homes in fuel poverty this year in the UK (low income, high fuel price, poor energy efficiency and low occupancy), my thoughts are very much with those who are struggling to cope with the weather.

So, sorry to rattle on about the weather but keep warm - or cool depending on where you live and ALWAYS be prepared.

Chat soon



  1. I thought we had it cold here - but that sounds even worse! Our paths are more or less clear.

  2. Hi MorningAJ
    It's genuinely poor conditions here Anne - it looks lovely and sunny but it's highly deceptive and bitterly cold.

  3. We saw that there was snow south of York so I guessed that you probably had it. This time we have missed it here - just ice and freezing fog and bitter cold. Keep warm.

  4. Hi Weaver
    No fog for a few days but really cold. Glad you missed it. I have heard about freezing rain in the area though which was quite dangerous.

  5. minus 6 on my little back garden weather station when up a 5 am.

    I'm glad I don't drive. Though our road looked clear, I was bemused to see neighbours on their way to work driving backwards :) Black ice apparently. Though it was 'gritted', it seems salt doesn't work below minus 4.

    Fuel bill poverty is a heck of a problem. The Govt. will give £25 for the unemployed and low income for every week below zero. Afterwards. A lot of those on prepayment meters ('key meters') are struggling because they have little resources, and the temperatures are swinging well below or just above zero.

    My Bear has run out of spare blankets, quilts and tenners to lend out locally. :(

  6. Hi Wheelie
    Minus 6 is not good. I've just checked my mini weather station and at some stage in the last couple of nights, there was a minimum temperature of minus 9 here.
    Plaudits for Bear's charitable nature without whose like, neighbourhoods wouldn't be what they are.

  7. At least things are warming up today! Although, oddly, it's both raining and sunny (raining at the front of the house, and sunny at the back); that's confusing the cats mightily.

  8. Community is the word, it feels weird having to define it. I'm from a Pitsmoor steel working, working 'class' background where no-one locked their doors, and Bear is likewise but from outside Sheffield with a mix of industrial and rural.

    Community is one of those British traits that goes undiscovered and understated. It's a national treasure.

  9. Hi Jane
    Thanks for popping in. Spring is just around the corner

    Hi Wheelie
    I absolutely agree, there should be lessons in it at school