Snow forces us all to take time off life’s busy treadmill

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There is something in most Irish people that feels a visit to the doctor to be told that nothing terminal ails you is a waste of fifty quid – we’re genetically braced for bad news on the basis that, as unpalatable as that might be, at least we’ve got our money’s worth.

And so it was with the snow last week; when no one died across the west, instead of being grateful for that positive outcome, there were many who felt the whole warning thing was therefore a complete exaggeration.

We’d have a different story if the National Emergency Co-ordination Centre had taken a few days off to avoid the snow and told no one else what was coming our way.

The Irish position is that, if you promise snowdrifts, flooding or a plaque of locusts, you bloody well better deliver – and if you don’t we’ll suspect you were making it all up for dramatic effect in the first place.

There are a couple of lessons to be learned from the impact of Storm Emma and the snowdrift (which makes the weather sound like a country and western band) – and the first is that we have a previously unrecognised national devotion to the sliced pan.

When the going got tough, the bread got going – giving a whole new meaning to the term breadwinner in the process.

Families might have had the roof fall in from weight of the snow but they also knew they had the back-up of two dozen sliced pans to mop up the worst of it from the kitchen floor.

And they had the security of knowing that even if we were toast, we’d at least have the facility to live on . . . well, toast, until we could be rescued several weeks down the road.

Problem now is that the snow didn’t last as long as the previous Ice Age – which some people seemed to have prepared for – and chances are that the black bins are full of mouldy bread, unopened in its yellow wrapper this week.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.