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Divorced from reality

Uncomfortable: A passenger sleeps on the floor after her flight is cancelled at Luton Airport (Daily Mail photo)

The weather here at this time of the year is on the whole rather good even if it is a trifle warm, When we have one of those summer storms we all know that the sensible thing is to find somewhere to sit out the worst of it and relax until the fury subsides . You just can’t fight it and win.

The same rule applies when you are in a place that has wildly cold weather at this time of the year, raging about it and the way that it has affected your travel plans is just pointless and makes you seem like an idiot in the process.

I was just amazed how unrealistic so many travellers stranded by the weather induced breakdowns of the Eurostar trains were when they were interviewed by news reporters on the TV. Sure being stuck in the tunnels was unpleasant and the disruption of their travel plans  inconvenient but no one is to blame, Its the weather stupid! In days gone by before the era of mass transit travellers knew and understood that sometimes it was just too dangerous or too difficult  to travel. Nowadays so many travellers think that no matter how bad the weather that they have the right to go anywhere they please on the planet and curses on anyone who has not worked out a way to defy the laws of physics to make their travel plans come to fruition.

Travellers in such conditions need to have a little humility and accept that they are not distinct from the environment they live in. I blame being able to get all kinds of produce at any time of the year. Quite simply too many people have lost touch with the seasons of the year and they think that they have a right to anything they desire any time that they want it. We need to respect the earth and its moods and to respect the fact that no matter how clever the machines we make are that they won’t always be able to go where we want precisely when we wish to do so.

If you are stuck somewhere for Christmas think of it as an opportunity to share good will to all and to create some joy with strangers, after all isn’t that part of the spirit of the festival?

Cheers Comrades



  1. JM says:

    “…. no one is to blame …. ”

    They are actually Iain – the shocking management and under-investment in infrastructure in the UK. You hear this stuff every year, but you never hear anything similar in Norway, Germany, Austria etc all of which are far colder than southern England (they’re inland and lack the benefits of the Gulf Stream)

    There’s also this amazing cultural blindspot of the English. Every year or so the English are shocked, shocked I tell you, to discover that they live in a country where it snows.

    Like you, I’ve lived there, but maybe you’ve forgotten. Or suffer from cultural myopia. Or are willing to excuse inexcusable management. Or something.

  2. kae says:

    Golly, the ALP runs the UK, too, huh?

  3. Iain Hall says:

    The UK has been run by the Labour party for the last decade…it is pretty much the same as the ALP when it comes to competence..
    No amount of “management” or “investment” is going to make snow and ice bound airports safe to fly from and I bet that you would be hard pressed to get a flight out of any country when conditions are the same as they are in the UK at present.
    When it comes to the Eurostar trains the problem is unprecedented and relates to the temperature differential between the exposed track ways and the tunnels. Now its easy to find solutions to such things when you know about them but in all fairness neither the Brits or the French thought of this problem when they built the tunnel.
    All of this is really incidental to my main point which is that when travelling to and from places of weather extremes one should be mindful of the conditions and have some humility if your travel plans are interrupted by mother nature.
    After all as an Aussie would you complain about not being unable to catch a train or to fly out of Cairns or Townsville during a cyclone? Some things are just beyond reasonable expectations.

  4. JM says:

    Iain, in general I agree with the thrust of your comment and would have applied it to the English once.

    Right up until the time I saw several kilometers of traffic stopped on the M61 (circa 1990, and that’s the Thatcher years so political parties have nothing to do with it) for over 24 hours due to a light fall of snow (about 1cm on the roadway).

    I was driving in the area at the time and the roads were perfectly passable if you drove slowly, it’s just that the nits decided not even to try and instead stopped right where they were awaiting “rescue”. I’ve driven in much worse snow (yes in England and other places) and it was fine, the temperature wasn’t cold enough for ice so you were just dealing with sludge. Watching a substantial portion of the population having an attack of the vapours is not a pretty sight.

    This was compounded by the fact that no-one saw fit to send any police, fire or snowplough services anywhere near them during that time – not even a few relief workers to maybe dispense blankets and tea and bickies.

    The only people who turned up were the news helicopters giving round the clock coverage.

    The event was on TV Iain, but no-one thought to do anything about it (probably because no-one could quite believe that a group of people would act so dumb – maybe they’re not used to herd mentality).

    When the cops did show up, they made everyone start their engines and move. End of problem.

    You see this sort of deliberate, pathalogical helplessness in England all the time.

  5. JM says:

    And of course, for examples of bad management there’s always the classic excuse for failure of railway service when the rail management claimed that they couldn’t clear the tracks using their snowploughs because …..

    “It was the wrong kind of snow”

    They’re a bunch of incompetent stumblebums. I don’t know why you want to excuse them. Of course it’s their fault – they’re the responsible people.

  6. patriot says:

    I used to be a warmist until I saw that beatdown Plimer gave Monbiot on Lateline. Have they no shame?

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Welcome to my blog patriot 🙂
    I agree that the Warministas have no shame, but the devoutly religious seldom do.

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