Unless you have been somewhere outside of the UK or just permanently asleep for the last week, you will have seen how the country has been on the verge of an Antarctic apocalypse.
So it certainly seemed, anyway. News headlines and bulletins were furiously warning people not to travel, not to leave the house, not to piss with the window open in case Storm Emma froze our nethers. We were advised to approach the snow by walking like a penguin. People were stuck in their cars for over 12 hours as a motorway was at a standstill. Buses were, for the most part, out of service. Trains were cancelled. Planes were halted mid air by the sheer cold of the breeze. Okay that last bit was false, but there were very little planes in the sky.
The so-called Beast from the East was waging a war on a country only prepared for a light sprinkle of rain and a dusting of snow every decade. Unless you were a school kid playing in the snow, delighting in being allowed time off, you were stressing and freezing and wondering if you could survive the oncoming end-of-the-world with a supply of tea and crumpets.
I was checking the First Essex updates and desperately trying to get to work, wondering when Will Smith or Robert Downey JR was going to come and save us from our deadly fate.
As the snow first started to fall, inhabitants of our great country of political disarray and Rich Teas, looked at their windows in shock. They began to Snapchat and Tweet and make sure the world knew of its presence, the country was excited, holding on to the fleeting weather before it left us for another year. Little did we know that would be the start of an onslaught nay, a tyranny of snowy destruction.
As the first warnings came in, people were lightly concerned but carried on their journeys regardless. I rode the bus to work, through the countryside, little flakes falling on the fields. It was, in all respects, a pretty sight. I arrived at work, the snow beginning to fall harder, more surprised faces around me working out what their plan was.
As my time at work consists of being placed in a stockroom for the majority of the day, I do not see the outside world very often. The first time I stepped out, walked downstairs to the window, I was in horror. The snow was taking over. Shops were shutting early and children were screaming, albeit screaming with joy but still a terrifying sound. The beast had begun it’s terror, and there was no Belle to calm its temper, just a crap load of grit that didn’t seem to do anything.
As the days went by and England fell further into the Beasts grips, parents were glued to BBC news, children were glued to their radios and everyone’s overly patriotic nan was probably somewhere praying for the queens safety.
It became harder to get to work and one day that I did get to work, the buses stopped their service when I finished. Stranded, I waited at the bus stop, little hope left that it might arrive but no such luck. One passerby, surely terrified and thus driven to stupidity, threw what seemed like a stone at my head. It missed, I turned around and he, with a feeble and fearful tremble, mumbled some form of fight worthy gripe, all the while walking swiftly away. Poor soul, the cold had removed even more of his brain cells.
Luckily with friends in the same town, I made my way to their house to shelter my quivering bones for the night. I was emotional and fatigued and racked with far too much self-pity. It turned out him and his girlfriend were actually going to tackle the beasts debris and drive me back home to be reunited with my own bed and more importantly my electric blanket. I was, of course, endlessly appreciative.
At its height, the beast left Britain in tatters, entire counties, unready and unprepared, left in tears and fearing for their lives. As for the north of the country, well, I was expecting at any moment for the military to pummel in and hurriedly escort residents out in a full-scale evacuation.
Or in simpler terms, a country, only really built for year-long rain, was surprised by a bucket load of snow and lost all sense of direction. The news broadcasts were cautious but garishly overdramatic and we as the general English public were totally dumbfounded. But, at the end of the day, there’s nothing more delightfully British than the theatre of it all and its organisational chaos. Very much a stressful week but a week, in hindsight, packed with more entertainment and drama than every series of Celebrity Big Brother put together.