So I’m busy writing an extremely important letter to the Met Office on the subject of SNOW. (For non-UK readers, the Met(eorological) Office is our publically-funded national weather forecasting/monitoring service.) Feel free to knit and crochet whilst I talk. Oh, and help yourself to some of that wine.
So what do you think of what I’ve drafted so far?
Dear Sirs/Madams (Madams? That sounds dodgy.)
I am writing to respectfully request that you cease your current practice of knowingly and deliberately tormenting me with forecasts of snowfall that you later retract shortly before they are due to occur. Every single day for the past week, since winter finally arrived in Oxfordshire, I’ve checked the weather forecast online, and each and every time it’s promised snowfall in precisely 48 hours’ time. But always, as the hour of anticipated blizzards draws close, you move the predicted snow forward so that it’s once again an elusive 48 hours away.
As a fellow human being, I can only ask you to examine your consciences. Do you consider your behaviour to be fair? If I, as a clinical psychologist, continually told my patients that I’d see them in two days’ time but never delivered, do you honestly think that I’d still be drawing a salary from the National Health Service? It’s just like the sign outside a pub that I used to drive past on the way to my parents’ old house that said, ‘FREE BEER TOMORROW’. Obviously the landlord set out this sign to amuse passers-by, safe in the knowledge that he wouldn’t actually be pouring anyone a free pint. And mildly amusing it was too for at least the first twenty-six times that I saw it, but this isn’t about something as trivial as beer, this is about snow. There are two small children and a child-at-heart here who ask nothing more than for a fair chance to rampage around in the slush, lobbing snowballs at the Stoic Spouse. Would you consider this an unreasonable demand?
And yes, I do realize that snow can be inconvenient in a lot of ways. I say this as someone who once had to take a spade and dig her car out of the car park at work, in order to even attempt to get home.
Am I bad for having found this enormously good fun? In those days, I lived closer to work than I do now, and as the snow rapidly deepened and the dark got darker, I just made it home before the roads became impassable and drivers were forced to spend the night immobile and shivering on the dual carriageway. That said, when I came through on the road’s re-opening, I noticed that people had built some pretty funky snow sculptures on the central reservation, so maybe there was a sense of camaraderie and fun that snowy night.
I can’t help noticing that many parts of the United Kingdom have received at least a flurry of snowfall these past few days, yet south Oxfordshire has once again been neglected. Do we not pay our taxes the same as everywhere else? And so I ask how you, as a publically-funded body, can justify such inequality? Why is it right that folks in Birmingham get to go sledging but we don’t?
Perhaps I’m overreacting? You see, I’m writing this as a 43-year-old woman who has amassed a lifetime of bitterness over hardly ever being where the snow is. I swear that the only thing that’s stopped me going on a once-in-a-life trip to Antarctica is the knowledge that there’d be no snow when I got there, which would be kinda bad for planetary welfare.
I still remember (and I’m being deadly serious, here) the heartbreak of how at an impressionable and formative age – 35, say – I watched a gathering crescendo of weather forecasts promising the absolute certainty of heavy snowfall overnight, right where I lived. We were to be at the very epicentre of the apocalyptic mega-blizzard. These projections left no room for doubt. At last, I thought, a lifetime’s yearnings will be fulfilled. So I went to bed excited, but somehow managed a few hours’ sleep. And then, it was morning. The morning. For the very first time in my life, I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, morning person. With a deep breath, I flung wide the curtains to see… a grey, drizzly day, with nary a hint of a snowflake. Never in my life have I been more disappointed. (Well, almost never, but let’s not go there.) Weather forecasters, please know that I have never since forgiven you, and that this let-down has cast a long, stubborn shadow over my emotional wellbeing ever since.
So I finish by asking you whether you sleep easy at night, knowing that your callous actions have caused such distress to a semi-innocent knitter and her small twins? Also, I politely request that you reconsider your behaviour. Please may we have some snow, not in 48 hours’ time, but now? Thank you.
Is it OK, do you think? Letters of complaint are so tricky to get right, don’t you think? Shall I send it off by first class mail?
Meanwhile in other news, there is to be a rather marvellous giveaway on this ‘ere blog, very soon. Hurrah! Details just being finalised.