As I write this I sit wondering if this will be the last communication that I will have with the rest of the world for some time, or possibly ever. I am preparing myself and my family for the possibility that things may never be the same again and we may be reduced to surviving by our wits alone. The reason? Apparently it will snow in the UK tonight and may do so for a couple of days over the weekend and next week. As we know, as the first flake falls from the sky, the country will grind to a halt.
If you Google "Why is Britain so unprepared for snow", there are pages and pages of discussions and suggestions as to why we don't cope, dating back, in some cases, for years. And yet, despite the fact that there has been all this discussion, everybody knows that when the snow does start, it will be the same old story. Why do we never learn?
I accept that by comparison with other countries, we have less and more infrequent snowfall, but it has snowed every year for at least the last four years. But the argument is still put forward that we do not have sufficient snowfall to justify the outlay on things such as snowploughs. But clearly we do. If we had snowploughs, roads would be cleared much more easily. Even the measures that are allegedly in place are sadly missing. There has been the threat of snow for more than a week, and yet the last time I saw a gritter on any of our local roads was more than two months ago.
The other thing that weather like this causes is panic buying. As soon as there is a severe weather warning, the supermarket shelves are emptied of such staples as bread and milk. I've never understood why. In all the times that we have had snow, not once have the shops been closed and not once have we even contemplated slaughtering our neighbours in order to provide a square meal. Generally the employees will live locally and walk to work. The wages that they receive generally mean that they can't live further away as they can't afford to run cars or pay the extortionate train fares.
The only conclusion that I can draw is that these people that do the panic buying are concerned as the only way that they would be able to get to the supermarket would be to walk, like the employees, as the roads would be unsuitable for driving, and god forbid that they should have to actually walk! The irony of this is that so many of them will have 4 x 4's that they have no idea how to drive in this situation, as they have only been bought as a status symbol to be shown off on the school run.
At least I know that should most of the food go there are likely to be plenty of burgers, due to the revelation that there has been horse DNA found in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland beef burgers.
Personally, I can't see what all the fuss is about. Firstly, two of these companies are originally German, so based in a country where the consumption of horses is not uncommon. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it’s not just the burgers that are "contaminated".
My second reason is a little more personal. I was taught to ride when I was a child. When I say "ride", I mean that in the loosest possible sense. What generally happened was that I would get onto the horses back, get comfortable in the saddle and then find myself flying through the air at high speed as the horse/pony decided that it didn't feel like giving me a trip around the paddock on that day. So I would not be at all averse to my only dealings with horses being with them smothered in burger relish and cheese and between two halves of a burger bun and I actually quite like horsemeat. I would be far more concerned if they had found human DNA rather than equine in this meat.
I suppose the fact that there is no mention of there being meat other than dead cow in the product is why these companies are getting into trouble, although I have seen a joke about the fact that a burger was found to contain 29% horse meat. One wag tweeted that he hadn't realised that there was actually that much meat of any kind in the product.
My favourite joke? Is it coincidence that that "hamburgers" is an anagram of "Shergar bum"?