As Michael Fish once said (or was it Iain Macaskill?) I’m trying to think of something nice to say about the weather. Meanwhile here is some light music. Apparently it was Iain Macaskill – here’s one I posted earlier:
That isn’t the one I thought. Oh well. Anyway, the weather is… awful awful awful. Schools are closed, motorways blocked, roads impassable and temperatures lower than a limbo-dancer’s back. It’s cold.
But none of this compares to the ritual grumbling chorus. It’s a musical for two competing choirs and it goes like this:
Choir 1: It’s so awful. I’m freezing. We’re going to run out of bread/milk/gas/food/the ingredients of food.
Choir 2: This is typical of Us. What about Norway? They don’t grind to a halt when there’s a few inches of snow. Why can’t we manage?
To be honest, I have little sympathy with either side on this one. Choir no. 1 is panicking unnecessarily: though of course there is suffering, the people complaining are not usually the ones suffering the most. The ones I feel sorry for are the homeless and the hard-up, those who at the best of times have to choose between heating and eating and who must now be tearing their hair out.
But as for choir no. 2, it’s a completely false comparison. You may as well say, ‘why can’t we cope with the heat like they do in Spain?’ or ‘why can’t we have canals everywhere like they do in Holland?’ They cope with snow in Norway because they have it every year!!! They know it’s coming; they know more or less when it will come, how much there will be and how long it will stay. They are geared up to it; their houses and trains and buses and roads are all designed with snow in mind.
But how often do we have this sort of weather? How predictable is it? How long does it usually last?
Like I say, there’s no comparison.
All of which causes me to wonder about Complaints Choirs. These were a thing a few years back; choirs of people coming together to moan in four-part harmony (or cacophony) about mis-sold pensions or computers crashing or delayed trains or – anything at all really. But I haven’t heard anything about them for a while now.
Well, according to this they’re still going – or they were in 2016:
Now stop moaning!