Thursday, February 12, 2009

Running the Country

"What they should do is use sea water," I said to hubby.

"What for?" he asked, clearly quite bemused.

"For the salt," I explained. He still looked at me blankly.

"When you were on your submarine," I said, "you drank drinking water that was made out of sea water."

Yes. Said Hubby

"Well then, surely it must be possible to do the same thing and use the salt from the sea for the snow. Also, there must be a way of pumping it directly onto the Severn Bridge to keep the ice at bay."

I was really on a roll. Buzzing from building snowmen and being out in the snow with the children sledging had seemed to make all my thoughts much clearer. The children had had a ball. The improvised sledges around the village were brilliant. In the absence of being able to buy a sledge when needed, we had used the bottom part of the slide, which, upside down had worked very well really..... but possibly not quite as well as a real one. I put a sledge onto my mental shopping list for next year, despite hubby's protests that we get snow like this once every 20 years, and as such "what is the point of buying a sledge now?" We could always use it for our first grandchild I thought.

The way that the snow had been managed by the County Council though seemed to be bizarre. I did wonder quite how they had managed to run out of salt when, even on a very "bad" British winter like this one, we have less than two weeks snow a year. I could certainly agree with the speculation that maybe that this was an excuse for the County Council not to spend, given that much of their spending power had been absorbed by Iceland. It was slightly ironic that they seemed to have given us a barter deal of some of their "weather" in exchange for our money.

My friend Jane came round for a cup of tea. "What they should do" I said, is so simple, "they should have a shorter working day for all schools in the winter and a longer one in the summer. That way schools wouldn't have to close every time there was snow, but the children could go in habitually later during the winter and come home before it gets dark." Jane, having lived in Germany as a child, where they did just that, agreed with me. Between us we came up with a way forward for the next time we have snow which didn't involve parents skidding around in their four by fours, or worse skidding around in non four by fours, just to get children to school by the start of day.... They would instead arrive once all the roads had been gritted, with the salt from the sea of course, all salt mines having been stripped bare by all accounts.

"We should be running the Country." I said.

"We'd probably get something done if we did." Said Jane.

"It is very expensive." said Hubby.

"What is?" I said.

"Making drinking water from sea water. So it wouldn't be a cheap way of getting salt."

Oh well. There go my plans for running for MP. And in truth, it is of course much easier to run the country from your kitchen table, over a cup of tea with a friend, than it probably is from Number 10.

Just then one of our Afghan boys came into the kitchen.

"I am going into Gloucester."

"There are no buses." I said, and the roads are sheets of ice. That is why you are off school." He looked at me bemused. It clearly hadn't occurred to him that the reason that he was not at school was because of the snow. Perhaps he had thought that it was some sort of occasional day. He looked positively disappointed. No school and now no town. Coming from a Country where education is still considered a gift, they find our own children's rejoicing at having snow and missing school slightly strange. Nothing would have allowed ESOS to exchange a snow day for a school day.

I had a sneaky look at my Facebook. There was a message from Sensible who was in Germany on a school exchange.

"Brilliant" She had written to me.

"The one time when everyone is actually off school for snow and I am not in the Country. There's snow here too, and we are at school."

My point exactly... They have twice as much snow in Germany, and they manage to handle their roads safely.


It was very nice having all those days off. And the snowman's good.


Sally's hubby said...

Poor snowman now looks as if he's suffered the same fate as the Wicked Witch of the West. I've rescued his scarf and hat, and there was only a carrot left. Can use that in tomorrow's lunch?

I like the "late start" idea. Could it maybe be extended to the workplace as well? It's miserable going out early on dank winter mornings.

Akelamalu said...

Our school didn't close! :(

You're right though, only here could a couple of inches of snow bring everything to a standstill!

john.g. said...

This country is crap now! I didn't have any time off school when it snowed, i walked 4 miles to get there. The school wasn't shut because the playground was slippery, the headmaster made it slippery so we could slide on it!

I was 7!

Asha said...

Hi Sally. Yeah, I saw the snow in London which brought the city to standstill on TV. We had half day snow, school did close for a day, that's it. Now' temp is in high 50Fs!

Happy V day, hope you are having a great time! :))

ChrisB said...

I love the snowman. Personally I think you'd do a great job running the country. When you've sorted the school day- please could we have an increase in the state pension :)

Pamela said...

I'd vote for you. (Even thought I can't because it isn't legal. But that hasn't stopped a lot of other people)

Flowerpot said...

just about all the schools here in Cornwall closed - everything ground to a halt!

Karmyn R said...

I think you are brilliant. We need more "Sally Minds" running our countries!!!

Alice Band said...

Well, we didn't get so much as a flake here in Torpoint and there still wasn't school - although not all schools shut, which then casued a furore between schools.

As to John G - when I was a girl, many years ago our schools most certianly shut when there was snow, or when the boiler broke, which was a least twice a winter qnd which you prayed for dearly before exams - a couple of extra days to swot!
In America - where it snowed a lot and where they also shut schools - they made up for by taking it out of the summer hols. Can't see that happening here can you?

Anonymous said...

Nice snowman.
As for the snow, ha!
When I was a girl we walked to school, in the snow, 10 kilometers, up hill both ways.....

(No, I'm not 80)

elena jane said...

our schools often open 2 hrs late in order to allow the roads to clear out a bit....and so the buses can navigate. that being said, when i was younger (in the city) our schools never closed or opened late...and i walked to school! ;)
but we haven't run out of salt (yet) and there are madmen with plows on the fronts of their trucks who drive around plowing ppl's streets gratis :)