Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Jingle Hell...

I'm sure those of you living in countries where two inches of snow does not cause the infrastructure to grind to a halt in less than an hour are going to laugh your socks off at my tale of how I spent yesterday........


We had a bit of snow last Friday, it was quite pretty and a fun send off for the children on their last day of school before Christmas. It lasted over the weekend and yesterday we decided to take the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping while my daughter spent her last day at her craft placement before the holidays. We went to Basingstoke and I had a lovely belated birthday lunch....we noticed afterwards when we were pottering round the shops that it had started snowing a bit outside, nice big flakes but it wasn't really settling.


Three-quarters of an hour later(2.30 pm), we decided to head for home in order to be there in plenty of time to walk the dogs and be there for my daughter's return at 4.15. However, when we got to our car which was on the roof of the shopping centre's multi-storey car-park, we were met with a huge stationary queue of cars waiting to leave. So we joined the queue and waited to go....someone told us that there had been a crash due to the snow on the ramp at the bottom of the car park and we would have to wait until it was cleared. So we waited......and waited.....moved about fifteen feet...one hour passed....I decided to ring round to arrange someone to either be there to meet my daughter or a different drop off point for her taxi.


The snow continued to fall, and we continued to wait....two hours....moved ten feet......three hours...beginning to panic as my daughter's taxi had still not made it home from what should be a ten minute drive.........four hours....couple of people in front gave up, parked their cars and left on foot...we moved twenty feet.......discovered my daughter(who has Down's Syndrome) finally made it home after THREE hours in the taxi with no way of going to the toilet - enough said. My partner and I debated what on earth to do, whether to abandon the car or take the chance of getting out and at least on to a road. After five hours, we called it quits and parked the car fifty feet away from where we had started out and walked to the train station, where luckily we caught a train back to our town after 20 minutes, although we had to walk 2 miles home in freezing slush as there were no taxis. We got home at 10 pm, tired, cold, wet, aching from carrying heavy shopping bags (3 kilo bag of dog kibble anyone?) and thoroughly fed up.


This morning we took a chance and caught a train back to Basingstoke and managed to complete our Christmas shopping and recover the car ( which still had to be dug out by two obliging chaps with spades) and drove home through the slush and many abandoned cars by the side of the dual-carriageway.

What we cannot understand is why two inches (yes, TWO inches) of snow can cause complete and utter gridlock in a large town. Roads weren't gritted, traffic jams built up to ridiculous proportions, hundreds of people were stranded overnight - we were lucky in managing to get home. How on earth to you people in Scandinavia, Canada and North America cope? Please give some lessons to the British, who for the second time in less than a year allowed half the country to grind to a halt over a bit of snow......which we knew was coming......it's pitiful.

3 comments:

Mel P said...

Yowzer poor you. My Husbands drive home from Staines to Bracknell took over 3.5 hours, this area is completeyl inept at dealing with snow! Hopefully tomorrow will be better for you xxx

Sallie said...

We have the same problem here in southeast Texas. We get snow every once in a while, but it always brings everything to a complete stop.

I'm so sorry you such a unhappy experience with the snow. It did look pretty though.

soggibottom said...

Gremlins x x x