Finding myself without car (it’s dying battery season along with everything else apparently), bike (are you freaking crazy?) or knowledge of local bus networks, I found myself facing a 45-minute walk to my destination last night. There’s been a lot of attention focussed on grit or lack of it on the roads but the compacted ice, uneven surface, ludicrously parked vehicle combination made the footpath the choice of fools. Even in proper attire – I wasn’t prepared to risk it.
I therefore took to the road. Not the middle of the road as you might have thought from the outraged reactions from some motorists, but occupying about the same amount of gutter space as a cyclist might. Whilst I have previously experienced the aggressive actions that having the audacity to move from a-b in anything other than a metal box on 4-wheels incurs, I figured that with our new-found spirit of snow-days at home, relaxed response to timings brought on by irregular public transport and spirit of the blitz approach to supermarket shopping we seem to have adopted, motorists might have connected with their inner calm and given me due space.
On reflection, they may well have been sounding their horns as a safety precaution fearing that I was a stray care-in-the-community casualty waiting to happen and, if that’s the case I am duly grateful, but surely everybody could see that choosing not to slip slide away on the pavements was the smart choice? But then having observed some of the clothing choices being made during this excessively-cold-for-England snap, smartness is not a prevalent trait currently.
Orignally I thought poverty might be to blame for the flimsy array of footwear being sported (like an enthusiastic twitcher I have spotted everything from stilleto-heeled boots to Converse including a special prize spot of a lady in a knee-high skirt, streaky fake tan and a pair of ballet slippers) but it seems it doesn’t stop with the feet, in the game of inappropriate attire bingo I’ve been playing in my head, I’ve got a full house of people with no gloves, hats, scarves or even coats in some cases. These are not the lunatics who insist on wandering around in shorts in the snow in some kind of bravado-blazing unfunny in-joke, I’m talking about real people, doing proper jobs and a daily commute! The rise and rise of the success of the pound shop model however discredits penury as a theory.
The final option struck me as I arrived at my destination with a twinkle of incredulity and a sinking disappointing feeling in my fellow humans – maybe it’s a style choice? At risk of sounding like my mum, in my opinion everybody looks far more of a dick flat on their back, covered in snow, with blue extremities than ever they would in any amount of woollen goods!