Sunday, 10 January 2010

Living with Snow

Okay, so it's quite hard work getting children in and out of coats, hats, gloves and boots, but I'm quite enjoying living with snow. It's beautiful; cold and crisp, huge crystals glittering in the sunshine. We are finally experiencing the stereotypical images of winter that are usually only seen in Christmas cards and history books.

Maybe it's because I got used to this way of life when we lived in Kyrgyzstan where there can be snow for months. Schools stay open (unless it gets to minus 20) and roads are certainly never gritted, so everyone just gets on with it. Dilapidated Ladas, held together mostly by string, keep on sliding over ever thickening ice. Kyrgyz girls refuse to give up their fashion - stilettos. Watching them it occurred to me that this is actually quite sensible footwear for these conditions because the heels act like crampons in the snow and ice.

This morning our brilliant Sunday School was open - on the school site. Lots of people turned up, keen to keep life as normal as possible. We discussed schools closing - there's already talk of school closing tomorrow, even though the snow hasn't yet fallen. Twenty-four hour media, we decided, is part of the problem. They keep a story live, updating every hour, squeezing every detail from it - if I see one more report from a gritting depot I will scream! This means we are always on alert about something that we might just calmly get on with if not constantly bombarded by media hype.

It's also occurred to me that one of the saddest things about this whole schools closing issue is the reflection of our society. Schools close because there is a presumption that if someone falls over and hurts themselves in the playground, they will sue. That says more about the attitude of society as a whole, the blame culture we have created, than the actual decision to close schools.

3 comments:

Iain said...

Weds. 13th Jan. and T's School is closed again due to the "repeat weather conditions" and safety reasons. However, this didn't stop me from riding my scooter into work this morning from the same village.

When I arrived at work 20 minutes after setting off (a normal 5 min journey). I was greeted by a large H&S sign warning us to walk carefully on the slippery floors within the building lobby.

Is this all a result of the incessant "no win, no fee" TV adverts conditioning us into a culture of suing?

What does your legal background think Saffia ?

Motherhood and Anarchy... said...

Thanks for this Iain, and well done you for getting into work!

Here we all are at home again. It almost feels like term hasn't started yet as everything is so disjointed. It's very frustrating as it's so hard to get the year going - and I know mums who have lots of work they need to get on with!

Yes, Iain, you are right. A lot of it is to do with the encouragement to sue. When someone falls over they no longer think, oh dear, I've had an accident, they think, who can I blame. The "no win no fee" adverts don't help as they are changing the attitude of society and this is why everyone has got so obsessive about health and safety. It's not through a valid perception of risk but because they are covering themselves, just in case of an accident. It's such a sad attitude.

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