It started late afternoon yesterday - I was out walking with my significant other and we'd just seen the extreme weather warnings on the news. He looked up at the clear sky and said it didn't look like it was going to snow at all. Three seconds later, we were caught in a snow flurry, which we thoroughly enjoyed for its suddenness and prettiness, not very aware of what was to come yet. The snow continued in spurts and became heavy sometime late in the night while London was asleep. This morning we woke up to about 6 inches of snow on our terrace, which has since gone up to almost 10 inches. That's nothing for Montreal, for Swiss Alps, even for Scotland closer home. For London, dear readers, this is rare, crazy weather.
I intended to post other things here today, but this could not be missed. In a flash I was out walking the streets of Chiswick with my cameras - there was no chance I could get to Central London or anywhere else for that matter, because there is almost no public transport today. Tube lines are severely disrupted, all major roads and highways are jammed and there is no bus service in London at all.
Most schools are closed and almost three million people are "working from home", having to choose from either getting stranded somewhere on the way or to stay safe at home. Of course, a few brave and persistent souls were still defiantly trying to make it despite the weather.
London's knees are buckling under the weather, and a lot of people are bitterly complaining about how 'inadequate' the infrastructure is and how this is all a big disgrace to this developed country. But I'm on the authorities' side on this. This is freak weather, a one-in-twenty-years occurrence, perhaps more, on average. You plan infrastructure for peaks, for future demand, for projected growth - you cannot plan a city to cater to an extreme arctic blizzard, the chances of happening of which are completely remote if not entirely unpredictable. Saying London should have been prepared for this is like saying that all buildings in the UK should be built to withstand earthquakes of the highest intensity on the Richter, even though it is a seismic safe zone. But I digress. Not everyone is complaining. Most people, especially children are welcoming the forced 'holiday', are thrilled with all the snow, and are keen to make the most of it.
Winter Wonderland around The Christ Church at Turnham Green
Poor Mr. William Hogarth wears a crown of the white stuff.
All of you who're in England or Wales and reading this, please stay safe, stay warm, stay content. All I want is a refund on my December Swiss Holiday!
I'll soon be back with more flanerie from around London.