SNOWFLAKES, eh? Delicate little things that bring the country to a halt. Let me blow the snow off this ledge before sitting down with the laptop.
There goes, in place now. Through the front window, those flakes are falling as snow-dusted cars move along the road at a normal pace. The country hasn’t ground to a halt yet, not if this road out of York is any guide.
The BBC website has snow cancelling 200 trains, Europe turned into Siberia and spring postponed by the ‘big freeze’. Snow is news and for once the alarmist Daily Express has its arthritic old-boy-cries-wolf finger on the pulse.
As mentioned here before, the new custom of using the word ‘snowflake’ to describe young people – or millennials, as we now call them – doesn’t sit easily with me. One generation snooting it over another isn’t the way we should be going; and an older generation dismissing the young for being delicate and over-sensitive is just too mean-spirited for words.
The Sun likes to play the snowflake game. This morning the paper has the headline “Great British Flake Off” above a story tut-tutting about panic buying, transport chaos and official advice to keep warm.
This sort of bully-boy nonsense always tickles me. The Sun even complains about “nannying” officials advising people to put on an extra layer to stay warm. Nothing wrong with that sort of nannying. I put on an extra T-shirt before venturing onto this ledge this morning.
That’s the thing with newspapers sometimes. The officials are nannying while advising us to keep warm or condemned as negligent if they keep shtum and offer no advice. Heartless officials slammed for keeping quiet about the cold; that sort of thing.
At least the snow unites us in a way. It’s the sort of common experience we don’t see so often in our modern bubbled lives, the climactic equivalent of Morecambe and Wise from those days lost to time and technology when we all watched the same TV programme at the same time. Everyone is affected; everyone has fun or something to moan about; everyone can get flaky.
But let’s leave snowflakes as snowflakes, and let off condemning the young for being, well, young.
Even Brexit can’t escape a dusting with the white stuff. This morning’s papers widely report on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s new support for a customs union with the EU. Is he playing politics in the slippery Brexit frost; or just being sensible?
Oh, who knows? Brexit is just too exhausting.
But I do like a line reported by the Financial Times this morning. Senior Tories are said to have an answer to Corbyn’s new move. Apparently, they are going about saying that Mrs Maybe favours the phrase “European traded goods area”. Doesn’t this just show that Brexit boils down to semantic bluster: you say “customs union” and I say: “European traded goods area”.
You say snowflakes; I say the next marvellous generation. You say big chill and I say chill big. Stay safe and stay sane in that snow. My only travel decision today is whether to cycle or drive for the Tuesday game of squash.
But by first thing Thursday, I’ll be clasping my frozen fingers to the steering wheel and hoping to arrive in Horsforth in one piece.