Thursday, January 07, 2010

Whether the weather be good...

I'm sick and tired of 'The Big Freeze', as it's come to be known. Again.

There are now even special programmes on about how much it's snowing and how cold it is. Well it is cold, and there's lots of snow and Annabel Giles phones GMTV from her car stuck in snow on the A3 and it's the most publicity she's had in years. They had to tell her to get off, she was going on and on and on. And then of course everyone's live at either:

a) a gritting depot in Cheshire
b) A bridge overlooking the M1
c) The home of a family who have no heating
d) Outside a mainline train station
e) In the place that's had the coldest temperature of the season

..and all in the complete pitch dark where it's not snowing anywhere.

It's so boring. And that BBC weatherwoman Carole Kirkwood. I think I might kill her. She reckons she's a right card. And that other one on GMTV, the annoying new Scottish one. Her voice drives me insane. But at least her predictions come sort of true.

All schools and closed too. This is a recent development, isn't it? Like, over the past 10 or so years? It seems to me schools close at the drop of a hat these days. When I was at school there would have had to have been a nuclear war before they even considered it, and even then it would be touch and go. I remember going to school in the snow on numerous occasions, and playing outside in it. They're not allowed to do that now. One colleague was telling me her kids were told not to even touch the snow at school. What sort of generation are we creating here? We're a nation of wusses. God help them when it's time to join the real world. Sorry to get all Jon Gaunt.

I used to love snow. Mainly because it was so rare, but now I've had enough. I nearly came a cropper on about 14 different occasions this morning, having sensibly left the car at home. When they say 'do not leave the house unless it's essential', do they mean go to work? That's never been made clear.

Luckily it afforded me the opportunity to listen to my ipod for the first time this year. First cab off the rank was The Bachelors with I Wouldn't Trade You For The World. Thanks to the brilliant itunes Genius application, that was followed by Brian Poole & The Tremeloes Someone Someone, Freddie & The Dreamers' I Understand, Adam Faith's Message To Martha (Kentucky Bluebird) and other mid-Sixties hidden treasures.

I'm quite interested in the Bachelors and I can see that whole Irish showband thing is going to need exploring.

Anyone know of any compilations in that vein?

Enjoy them as you take your mind off falling snow.


Chris Hughes said...

In seven years at secondary school, I had half a day off due to cold weather, and that was only because the heating had packed in. It was 1987, so obviously I went home and watched Neighbours.

I do really resent the impression the news gives that some disruption means that absolutely everything has ground to a halt. On 23 December the BBC 10 O'Clock News led on TRAVEL CHAOS, then next morning I got on a train and travelled 250 miles from London to Wales without a hitch.

Helen said...

I'm sick of the snow and ice, kids only just back at school and nursery, husband only just back to work and now here we are all stuck at home.
Has everyone forgotten to put socks over shoes to stop slipping on ice?!
Happy new year, by the way.

Mondo said...

It's ridiculous. The news reports the snow as if it's here to stay or never happened before.

My kids were instructed by the school staff not to run or throw snowballs yesterday - except at the ground.

Then there's 'Survivor' style punch ups in the supermarket over bread and milk.

And don’t start me on the effing, jeffing and offers of a fight I got from a bus driver after my youngest threw a snowball at the side of his slow-moving empty single decker bus.

Having said that I still love the look of snow covered surbubia..

PS I saw the socks-over-shoes technique for the first time today. I always thought rubber bands were meant to be the answer.

Matthew Rudd said...

At my secondary school, which was very rural, the kids who travelled in on buses often got a day off by default on snowy days because there transport couldn't make it through. Sadly I lived in one of the two villages within walking distance and so traipsed along as normal in my wellies.

I had far more days off through teachers being on strike than I ever did through snow. And were it not for three weeks with flu in 1989, I'd have probably had more time off through strikes than illness too.

Jon Gaunt's natural successor has never been found, by the way. Until now, maybe...

Ishouldbeworking said...

Irish showbands. Five galoots from County Offaly in frilly red shirts and high-waisted flares, with a Bontempi organ and a Brotherhood of Man songbook. The bane of all my summer holidays. I pray you, do not start a revival.

And I just went outside for the first time in 48 hours, and fell over on my arse. How can life possibly get any worse?

Five-Centres said...

That sounds right up my street, ISBW. Sorry to hear about your arse.

And Happy New Year to to you, Hels.

Matt, find me an opening at Pennine FM. They'd love me in Huddersfield.

Chris Hughes said...

While I'm in grumbling mood, whatever happened to interesting weather forecasters? Once they were all huge national figures, each with their own personality and quirks - your McCaskills, Gileses and Kettleys - now they're just indistinguishable blokes. Boo.

Five-Centres said...

Is that because there are more of them, Chris? Now there's ITV in competition, though that bloke who's name escapes me but might possibly be Martyn is the blandest man on TV, and that's saying something.

I like Jay Wynne's voice, but can't understand a word Rob McElwee says. He's a shocking mumbler. Daniel Corbett is the nearest we have to a characterful weatherperson.

LF Barfe said...

I don't detect any mumbling on the part of Rob McElwee, who is fast becoming my favourite of the BBC lot, aside from mumsy vixen Helen Willetts. McE did a superb muhahahaha ending to a pre-Christmas everything's shit forecast.

Funny you should mention the Bachelors. I'm just transcribing an interview with Con & Dec for my Les Dawson book. Some spiffing stories, including one about Arthur Worsley using Norman Collier as a human vent dummy at a Water Rats dinner.

Bright Ambassador said...

Unfortunately Health and Safety and the claim culture are the reason a lot of schools close. Bus companies these days either refuse to run or want to get in and out early. There's also the fact that parents worry that their precious little ones might get stuck in school and so come and pick them up.

I'm with Mr Barfe, McElwee's about the best, you trust that he's a proper weatherman and knows what he's on about - a bit like Bill Giles and Jack Scott.

JM said...

We've reached the stage now where football matches are called off, not because the pitch is unplayable oh no (state of the art stadiums have seen to that), but because "the approach roads are too dangerous".

Yes it is the paranoid health and safety compensation culture again, but it has to be reiterated - this would never, ever have happened years ago.

I can barely walk five feet down the road without risking falling over on ice, yet do you think I'd be entitled to a day off work because "the approach roads are dangerous"?

Chris Hughes said...

You're right about there being so many of them now, F-C, but you'd think one or two would stand out. Dan Corbett does, I suppose, but I think he's trying too hard. It's the same with snooker players these days (Corbett thus being the Ronnie O'Sullivan of weather).

Rob McElwee is probably the best, and I think that's because he's the most senior. I do like Helen Willetts too, I remember her starting out on Wales Today. In fact, I'm convinced I must have met her at some point in my youth, cos she's from down the road from me, and the same age.