Another intermission post whilst we wait for Mrs May, so those of you who want a choc ice or a smoke please slink away now.
It's a short filler piece at the end of the news here - how Britain can't cope with 5cm of snow. Well, to a point, Lord Copper. Here we can expect snow up to 2m deep in winter, though it's not been over 60cm since I've lived here, and dawn temperatures of -20° are not unusual. We all cope and things carry on as normal; the postman ploughs his little van through snowbanks, the refuse vehicle wears snowchains and folk always wear hats and coats inside the car. Plus we have winter tyres and anyone owning a decent tractor or loading shovel can bid to be a snow clearance contractor. The trains don't miss a beat and most of the time the schools stay open.
So wearily I have to explain for the fifth time that ice and snow events are rare enough in the UK not to maintain a standing provision for them - it's easier to take a minor economic hit from snow disruption every ten years than pay for kit and provision that will be redundant most winters. Austrians aren't ice giants - in fact they're less cold tolerant than most Brits, the houses and pubs here being without exception grossly overheated and actually uncomfortable for an Englishman used to Anglian country houses maintained at an equable 16° in winter except for the spaces immediately in front of the open fireplaces.
Only the main road through the valley here is salted - all the rest of the steep little single lane ways up the sides are gritted. Salt only works to -15°, and the grit is surprisingly effective once cemented into the ice, a bit like driving on worn sandpaper.
In addition to the comments to previous posts I've now had two emails asking me to exclude a commentator whom many contributors find disruptive. I have to say he doesn't upset me and I'm sometimes quite grateful for a sharp puncturing of any hubristic posturing into which I stray. He was also quick to defend Mr Spalton's undoubted very high standards of expertise, erudition and wisdom when this was challenged. I'm also dyed to the core in my commitment to free speech and against censorship, and have warned previously against a real danger of social media becoming an echo chamber, so I embrace dissent as healthy.
On the other hand I am deeply conscious of the offence taken by several loyal and long standing readers, and aware that the person concerned quite naturally can't resist so easily provoking a reaction from many.
So for now a plea, please, to not get either entrenched or go into full combat mode on this.