Thursday, 5 February 2009

Forget the crunch, it's snowing!

With people in Belfast waking up to snow today, Northern Ireland continues it's tradition of always being behind the times compared with Britain. Following Monday's heavy snowfall in large parts of England and Scotland, I was struck when I read the Editorial in The Times the following day. It begins:

The first thing to say about snow is not that it disrupts our travel. It is not
that the economy suffers. It is not that the country cannot cope. It is not that
it started in Russia and then spread to the rest of Europe. The first thing to
say about the snow is that it is extraordinarily beautiful.
What? No griping about the £1.3 billion the snowfall is predicted to have cost us? No gurning about the complete lack of buses, the gritters who were unprepared? The article continues;

There is a joy to trampling through unspoilt snow that some children enjoyed
yesterday morning for the first time in their lives. Some children built their
first snowman and rolled their first gigantic snowball. The scene out of every
domestic window was a Christmas card from the fables of Dickens, five weeks too
late. Dull would he be of soul who would not look out of his own window and note
a scene touching in its majesty.
Did the editor nip out to the toilet and Santa Claus nipped in to change his leading article? Why all this sympathetic imagery, this optimism? I really was struck with a sense of disbelief as I continued to read the article. Such appreciation for the simple things in life looked totally out of place in a newspaper. Yet there it was, pushing aside our obsession with money, work, complaining and stopping - if only for a minute - to ponder the beauty of snow.

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