Snow on snow

One advantage of not having a car is that, though we’re generally more aware of the weather than motorists, its fluctuations don’t make a huge difference to our lives.   The boys walk to school just as usual, albeit remembering their coats for a change, M cycles across to the business unit where we keep our stock and I occasionally stir myself to walk into town, though I’m being cowardly and leaving the bike behind at the moment.  We’ve gritted a path down the drive with wood ash from the fire which seems effective (I don’t like the idea of all this salt being washed into the streams and hedgerows) and are getting on as usual, with a few more layers.   It’s disturbing to see that so much of the response to the cold weather swings between a kind of desperate monocular business as usual (let’s get those roads gritted at any cost) and complete capitulation (my mother-in-law says that the secondary school near her in Lancashire has been closed all week).  It doesn’t bode well for the future, when we’ll have much bigger challenges to face than a few subzero temperatures, that the idea of adaptation seems so unthinkable.  There was an article in the Guardian this week about the effect of road salt on vegetation and wildlife to which one reader commented that “I have driven over hundreds of miles of roads in Eastern Europe where no salt is used at all. People drive slowly and are accustomed to coping. Sometimes some grit/gravel is used on hilly areas. This is usually sufficient to keep traffic flowing.  There is one crucial proviso: cars are fitted with snow tires!”  Meanwhile the snow is falling heavily now and I’m not feeling quite so confident as when I started this post – R is in Belfast for an audition and has to come back the eighty miles by bus.  I daresay Translink will make it, though…