Winter Wonderland?

The past two days have been probably the most eventful for a very long time in my home town of Reading, and its all down to the white stuff. A storm hit us on Monday around 2 o’clock that would literally shut down our roads, strand people in car parks and then force them to take up to a 3 hour hike back home.

Here’s my ‘day in the life’ of those events –

We started in town, parking at a smaller car park near the Oracle. Thinking nothing of the weather the christmas shopping began, with the local radio broadcasts telling everyone “not to worry – it wont settle!” – this was a massive miss-calculation. People were unaware that outside a storm was brewing, one of the worst the County has seen for at least 10 years.

At first it was picturesque, making everyone happy at the thought of a white christmas, accompanied by their shopping trips. Soon it had layered the town center with several inches, by this point people began to realize that heading home was a good option, though everyone doing this at once was not.

As the shops began to close, people rushed to their cars and once finally reached, it became apparent that this storm was hear to stay – and that we were not getting out any time soon. I spoke to a parking attendant, who informed me that there was at least a2 hour wait to leave the multistory. Additionally (and this is about the only good thing the higher authorities did to help all day) they offered a complimentary 24 hour stay, meaning the car would be safe but we had a hefty walk ahead of us.

Millets certainly had their work cut out for them, wellies and gloves were all gone in a matter of minutes as people began to make their way home. Our journey also began there, and for those of you who don’t know Reading – then involved a 3 hour long walk up hills and along main roads.

It was a knackering adventure, and thanks to my Mother neither of us went cold! Below are a few photos taken along the way –

So after all this, we finally go home – and bear in mind that this is a condensed plot version, the whole day would take much longer to explain. But its lead me to think, wow we need to re-think our lives – our society is dependent on cars that when roads are closed down due to snow, lives simply stop.

Its also an eye opener for our County Council, they did absolutely nothing to prepare the roads for such a down poor, and they knew it was coming. Whilst walking home there was no sign of this either, with no grit lorries out to give the people stranded some extra grip. So maybe next time guys, be more prepared?

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