As the Bristol Blogger pointed out recently, with the Post laying of yet more journos we can expect the paper’s pages to be filled with more tedious columns from local “slebs”.

Anyone reading this could write these opinions-by-numbers columns the day before they are published.

Things are so bad it looks like they’ve begun taking inspiration from each other. But hey, at least old Phil ‘Space’ Cooper’s no longer about to recycle the bullshit all over again.

Here from Monday 10th Feb is Steve Scott’s column (apparently he reads the local ITV news)

Bring on more snow for Bristol week and maybe, just maybe, another dump of snow on Bristol. Well if it does, I for one can’t wait. There’s something about a thick layer of the white stuff that brings out the best in all of us.

The impact on how easy it is to get around can be very irritating, especially if your trip to the sunshine falls victim to the closed runway at Bristol International or you’re late for that vital meeting because of the snarled up traffic. But ask yourself, how much it really matters?

For every business deal that couldn’t be done, for every holiday slightly delayed or every school closed, there was a family building a snowman in their back garden.

If we had to put up with the disruption every few days it would be beyond ridiculous but surely we can handle the inconvenience once every 20 years or so.

In and around Bristol last week, by and large, most people seemed to be smiling. Durdham Downs was teeming and I imagine most Bristol parks were too. I’ve never seen so many amateur scupltors, lovingly creating everything from little animals to giant igloos. There were snowball fights breaking out everywhere – when else could you throw a missile at a stranger’s head without fear of being beaten up?

Click here!

For us adults it brings out that inner child, as proved by my wife as she chased me down the road in her dressing gown, snowball in hand, screaming like a banshee! An American friend told me she was amazed how many grown ups she had seen playing in the snow, In up-state New York where they get it every year, you seldom see anyone over the age of 10 with wellies on, mucking around knee deep in a snow drift.

For the real kids it’s not only a lot of boisterous fun but a bonding, character-building experience with friends and family and for one day only, I reckon they get more out of it than they would if they’d have been at school. If parents have a logistical nightmare for a day or two then so be it, although more schools should make a bigger effort to stay open – not to teach, but to provide a haven for children whose mum and dad really can’t avoid work. After all it’s an opportunity that doesn’t present itself very often as our climate warms up at a frightening rate. Or maybe we’ve got that one wrong too and from now on all winters will be like this.

Let’s hope our councils stock up on their salt supplies.

And here from Wednesday 11th Feb is George Ferguson’s (local architect and Merchant Venturer) attempt.

Snow makes it all magical

Snow makes it all magicalThe view on Thursday morning from the top of the Tobacco Factory was magic, with the Clifton Suspension Bridge, below, hanging like a frosted “cat’s cradle” over the Avon Gorge.

The supermarket car park below me had turned into a winter wonderland for the kids in the area.

I love the way the snow temporarily silences the city of cars and brings the cheerful noise of children’s laughter in its place – I wish it lasted longer. Maybe I should curse not being able to take my tiny car out, but to me the snow is an opportunity for us to play and to dream.

I lived in Norway as a young teenager, where we used to take snow in winter for granted. There it enveloped the great little city of Oslo and its surroundings and transformed the way we did things. It was never seen as a problem but as part of normal life – and we made the most of it.

Even the boring occupation of food shopping became an adventure, with my mother taking her “spark”, a sort of pushbike with runners, that we would shove uphill and ride and glide downhill.

So let’s just accept that snow is a blessing and that if it changes our lives at school or work, or my takings at the bar go down, so be it. There are, of course, some individual horror stories, but the overall psychological benefit must be enormous. My office had great fun using our professional sign boards to race down Brandon Hill.

I remember when we were working on the rebuilding of the Grade I-listed Prior Park school some 20 years ago after it was badly damaged by fire, the main contractors were in despair at the artist craftsmen knocking up a sledge out of waste wood and breaking off early to take advantage of a snowfall. They were asked how they could take time off with such a tight programme, only to answer that tomorrow the snow may have disappeared, but tomorrow the building would still be there.

Maybe that is what is so special about snow – it can cause chaos but it can make a dreary place seem magical and turn a car-dominated street into a playground. Snow seems to bring the child out in us all, at least those of us who still have a child hidden in there.

Let’s hope that with climate change we do not lose this very special pleasure, and let’s stop grumbling about the buses or the grit – or lack of them – and grasp the opportunities when they are here, as they may be gone tomorrow.

Now your turn at home. See if you can write your very own Evening Post column using our journalism-by-numbers instructions.

Remember to include references to:

  • Local landmarks
  • Bristol traffic
  • Childhood nostalgia
  • How little middle-class folk like us worry about taking days of work
  • Climate change
  • Salt / grit
  • Blah blah blah . . . snowmen . . . snowballs . . . (That’s enough snow-bollocks, Ed)

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One Response to “Snow-bollocks”

  1. armaGEDdon Says:

    Journalism is almos dead anyway. In the words of Greg Palast – If the Watergate affair had occured in the USA in the year 2000, it would not have been reported by the Washington Post.

    Democracy Now is a pretty fair remedy, on the whole, and anyone who chooses to use the main stream media for their News and then is surprised when the reality fails to be in line with the fantasy, has only themselves to blame. Today we have a million outlets of News and only about 90% of these are controlled by the same 4 men.

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