Sunday, 20 January 2013


Yes, it's that time of the year again. Several days of weather that will be responsible for page upon page of withering news reportage about what a vile, unprepared hell hole the UK really is. newspaper editors will be harrumphing to such an extent that they will be on the point of heaving up their own ribcages.

TV news of course rubs its hands together with glee. Time to roll out the footage of vans stuck in piles of the white stuff, fruity young women in winter attire, posh kids flying down Primrose Hill on designer sledges fashioned out of marble, moribund scenes of passengers milling around airport terminals with courtesy cereal bars. A special mention has to be made in respect of the news reporter who is given that most glamorous of assignments, the live link to the gritting depot. Even the words make you feel slightly depressed. Gritting depot. It's to this joyous location that a woman in a puffa jacket and a bobble hat is dispatched.

Chatting with the foreman of the local authority highways department, she will indicate the mountain of road salt behind her. Look at her eyes though. Wet with forming tears, she will be wondering if the journalism degree had always been leading to this moment. This spot on the main news where she banters with a glassy eyed George Alagiah or a sagely nodding but ultimately disinterested Fiona Bruce.

Regional news is even more desperate. In London this tends to feature the annual shot of someone falling down the steps outside Waterloo station or a City worker struggling across the Millennium Bridge, desperately trying to juggle an umbrella and a skinny white latte.

Monday morning will bring forth an office filled with people in clunky boots and hideous knitwear, tomato-red faces and tales of their journey. I will respond my sticking my head in the photocopier. After burning several lever arch files, overdosing on coffee and weeping for a while, I'll don the clunky boots and 'struggle' home. Let's hope the gritters have done their job.

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