The year got off to a good start for curmudgeons in this part of the world, with snow and sub-zero temperatures keeping people housebound for weeks after Christmas. Today, despite a slight thaw, the omnipresent slush is ensuring that we still have plenty to grumble about.
Now for the Top Five bizarre sights of Ireland’s recent bad weather (in no particular order):
1. People shuffling along ice-bound footpaths wearing thick socks over their shoes. This shows a suspicious level of practicality and good sense by the Irish public. Sure enough, it emerged that this “snow tip” was communicated to Irish national radio by a German (who, along with the rest of his compatriots, is probably tickled pink by the chaos caused in this country by a few inches of snow).
2. People out on the footpaths at all. Ireland is a nation of car-lovers, which, coupled with disastrous public transport, makes driving something of a national pastime. Now that the ice on the roads has forced many to re-think the two-minute drive to the newsagent’s, we are seeing more of that rare breed: pedestrians!
3. Snow. The last time that Irish children were able to make snowmen and have proper snowball fights was a generation ago.
4. Dali-esque snow figures. Today’s thaw has seen snowmen and -women shed various limbs, or heads. Some of the less robust ones have imploded altogether, creating disturbing post-apocalyptic images in front gardens and public parks.
5. Drivers, obviously rendered giddy by the slight rise in temperatures, reverting to their normal driving habits – overtaking, speeding, not watching the road – despite repeated warnings in the media that slush is more hazardous than snow.