Well of course it's long gone now but I felt that it was about time that I said Happy New Year to all my readers.
I'm sorry but things have been a little busy what with New Year and the good fun weather and all that sort of stuff but it brings to mind an interesting thought about just how UNPREPARED the UK really is to deal with adverse weather conditions.
I remember last winter (you know, the coldest one the UK had seen for 20 years) when the Highways Authority said that it was "well prepared" for winter and then promptly the entire UK seemed to run out of road grit (that horrible stuff they put on the roads to stop them freezing up) and grit had to be purchased from Germany or somewhere like that.
The roads stopped up, people were stranded on motorways for hours at a time and no one could even get a bus to them to get them out of their cars...
People sit in cars freezing because they've got nothing prepared for themselves...
Good god people, if you are going out and there is a possibility of adverse weather (and get real, it's Europe, it happens all the time, rain, wind, floods, snow, etc etc) then you should be prepared. Perhaps that means a couple of blankets in the boot, a couple of cans of those self warming meals (you'll find them in Tesco or a camping shop) and a couple of sealed bottles of water (which keep for a longtime unlike refilling bottles which don't keep for as long).
But what shocked me more was just how unprepared we were, the police. We had very few 4WD vehicles available to us and even fewer people who were allowed to drive them. The 4WD vehicles that we did have didn't have sirens so couldn't be used to respond to anything or get around other traffic etc.. I complained to my supervisors but of course it falls on deaf ears. Guess what? It all happened again.
I think that we should all wake up, the weather is NOT predictable and it has a nasty habit of doing what it likes and when it likes. As such we should be prepared, no matter what the cost - because people's lives are at stake.
Oh well, see what happens next winter!