It's that time of year in the UK again. Yep, the time of the year where a state of near 'National Emergency' is declared, with roads becoming grid-locked, trains grinding to a halt, schools closing and supermarket shelves being emptied as people panic buy food.
'Christ! What's happened?' I hear you cry.
You may well ask. A light dusting of snow happened, that's what. And yet it's like bloody Sodom and Gomorrah, except with snow instead of fire and brimstone.
Pic.No.1. My house and the light dusting of snow that brought Britain to it's proverbial knees
Same old. Every year the snow falls, and every year the government appears to be completely bewildered by its appearance, resulting in spectacularly feeble attempts at dealing with the 'crisis'. For example, the news always features a picture of an overturned snow plough. Now really, you have got to be a complete joey to be overwhelmed by snow whilst driving a snow plough. If you really can't make it in one of those things, you should be nominated for a Darwin award.
Pic.No.2. This year's news picture of an overturned snow plough. Abso-bloody-lutely pathetic
Ok, I know that Oxford hasn't got it as bad as some parts of the country, but the traffic was still crawling into town when I drove in to do a spot of shopping..... even though the roads were free from snow. What's that about? Quick, everybody panic!
As if the general 'snow hysteria' wasn't enough, my shopping experience today was, quite frankly, total pants. I needed to buy a pair of wind-proof gloves for mountain biking, so I visited a shop called 'Go Outdoors'. After much browsing (because the ones I liked were never in my size), I finally found a sexy little pair of Berghaus gloves, and went to the checkout. And get this - I had to wait in line for over 20 minutes because instead of just taking payments, the two checkout girls were farting around doing exchanges and setting up new customer accounts. And one of them really needed her roots doing.
By the time I was served I had steam coming horizontally out of my ears. But I paid for the gloves without complaining and the checkout girl handed me the receipt. It was wrong. The gloves should have been £16 but she had charged me £22. Grrrrrrrr. And it took another 10 minutes to refund me, and take payment for the right amount. Yep folks, that was a total of 30 minutes to buy a pair of bloody gloves.
It was with utter relief that I finally escaped the shop and headed to Beckley (at a crawl due to the snow panic) to pick Izzy up from school. Being only five, she was thrilled by the snow which added rather a nice perspective, completely in contrast with the news doom-mongers.
That cheered me up a bit, so I decided to take Izzy for a hot chocolate in 'Jacobs and Field', a delicatessen in Headington, a suburb of Oxford. Aaaah...... an oasis in the snowy mayhem that was Oxford.
Pic.No.3. Izzy and I popped into Jacobs and Field for a coffee and hot chocolate
Hot chocolates consumed, all I had to do was pop to the local Co-Operative supermarket to get something for dinner. It started off swimmingly dahlinks; I knew what I needed and within five minutes I was at the checkout.
And then, would you bloody believe it? There was a woman in front of me in the queue who was trying to purchase seven adult Father Christmas outfits, and the checkout guy didn't know the price. It took ten minutes and the manager to find out how much the outfits cost. Is it me? Was I bad in a previous life or something?
More to the point, why the hell was that woman buying seven Father Christmas outfits? There's gotta be something sick going on there right?