For the last eight days, Kent and other surrounding Counties have been experiencing some pretty harsh weather, culminating with freezing rain through the night of Tuesday. With a temperature of minus 8, this meant that by morning, the County was at a standstill.The Train Service was non-existant, complete chaos. The Operating Companies Website indicated there were delays, this was being passed on to Stations and the BBC who faithfully gave the information out. Thousands of Commuters made their way to their local Station to find nothing – and there was nothing until around 10am.
Now, one would think after over 150 years of Railway in this part of the Country, there would be ‘a plan’! But no, there isn’t. It seems that no one bothered to look at the overnight forecast and think to themselves ‘don’t even run a reduced service, either bang it all on the head or simply say there will be a train as and when it arrives, simply shuttle it.
On the roads, drivers seemed to think it was mid-June and their particular make of Car would stay on the road with one inch thick sheet ice on it. So, the Motorways and Town Centres became virtually shut off.
Those brave enough to attempt walking to work mainly gave up five meters outside their front door. The Councils, give them their due, tried their best, it is plain simple fact, the System and Management can’t handle it.
The NHS didn’t escape the effects either, a huge increase of treatment for broken arms and legs replacing the more normal urgent situations. Good for most Hospitals who arranged special Dormitories for essential Staff to stay in and good for the Staff who did.
So, every year almost we get a few days like this and every few years a worse case such as this one. It seems it’s a British Art to pretend it’s never going to happen and we sit like lemons watching TV stories of how every other Country handles it!
With the Railways, look at ‘Operation Stack’. At the slightest sign of trouble with the Ferry Service from Dover to Calais, the Police and Emergency Services are geared up to close the Motorway and prepare for Truckers and Cars to literally stack themselves until it sorts out.
Although this is of great discord to those living in the Folkestone and Ashford areas, it works and it works because it’s ‘expected’ and there’s a plan to deal with it.
Maybe we have to do the same for the Weather.
So, my final point is, before we go around moaning about the Wild life who eat our Vegetables and generally ‘get in our way’, let’s take time out to respect them in this weather.
Fair enough, they don’t have to run a Railway Timetable nor go Shopping, bu for them, life goes on. Evolution has designed them to expect these things and they’re ready for it.
On Tuesday morning, I went out into the Garden. I still saw the Robins, the Tits gnawing away at the Fat Balls, a Fox strolling accross the field at the bottom of the Lane, a few Rabbits, even a Ladybird or two.
There we have it. A creature with a brain a fraction of the size of ours doesn’t need technology, it doesn’t really need a lot of help, it’s the law of the Jungle, they get through it, we with our gadgets, can’t!
Then there’s the example of man trying to influence creatures to be what we want then to be and not necessarily what they want to be. My three have ventured outside for about a total of one hour in the last week. Evolution thank goodness has prevented us doing this with most things. Now, I say that, but I’m as guilty as anyone and go along with it! I wouldn’t shut my cats out for 24 hours a day, bot even a couple of hours, but Feral Cats survive. Some don’t, but that’s what nature deems and has done well before we domesticated them.
Another point is; how we dream of a white Christmas and “It would be so nice to snow at Christmas”. If it did and if the results were like the last week, I don’t think we’d be dreaming that one again !
My point of all this. Well, firstly to get it off my chest and secondly, just to remind myself that although we are the ‘supreme being’ on this Planet and have the knowledge to destroy and design almost everything around us – give us one inch of snow and a temperature of minus 8 and……
In nature – we are a very big second !