One bit of snow and the whole country grinds to a halt……

Plenty of times when back in the UK there was a bit of snow and everything came to a halt.  People decry the UK and say that it cannot deal with a bit of snow without the country coming to a halt.  They point to elsewhere in Europe and say how great they are at dealing with snow.  “Why can’t we be more like them?” we hear cried.  I think the reason is that most places that cope well with snow are places which have it frequently.  It pays for them to spend the time and money on preparing for the snow and having the necessary equipment to deal with it when it arrives.  When it snows rarely why spend the time and money preparing for it?  As an example, in four years walking to work in London it snowed on me twice, despite walking a lot more during the months you might expect snow.   Both those times the media reported about how London ground to a halt, schools closed, public transport didn’t work etc.  France is one of the places held up as being good at dealing with the snow.  Certainly in the areas in the Alps and nearby used to snow it doesn’t seem to cause too many problems.  Here in Strasbourg snow earlier in the week didn’t seem to result in problems as it is expected in winter and prepared for.  However, snow yesterday in Marseille brought everything to a halt, schools closed, trains and the tram stopped running etc.  See reports, including video here from France2 and here from the BBC. QED?

Caught in the slips?

Rumours first circulated early yesterday morning that the England cricket captain had resigned and the coach was also gone.  It has been like watching a train-wreck happening.  It seems he tried to force a showdown with the high-ups in cricket that it was either him or the coach, Pieterson did not have the support of all the other players so had to go, as well as the coach as seen from the BBC and a later version of the story from the Daily Mail.  What this does ahead of a tour to the West Indies, a return tour from them to the UK and then, most importantly this year, the Ashes series against the Australians I’ve no idea.  At the end off the month I’ll be going to the AGM of my local cricket club, the Strasbourg Strollers, (match report from last season here) and I hope there’s not any of this sort of thing going on there!

I’m not the galette king.

It’s a good job I wrote about galete des rois yesterday because at my French class today it was the main subject of the lesson.  It was so helpful in following the lesson.  However, I did not get to be king when we had the galette.  Including the teacher there were seven women and me and the teacher said it would be wrong to ask the women their age so, as a result of “faber domine” I should decide who got which piece.  I said I should get the fourth piece and the rest should be distributed in order.  My mistake, I did not get a favour but the fifth piece, which is what I would have had if I’d kept to strict order, did contain a favour so I would have been king.  I did get to be king as a result of being the only person the two queens (there were two favours in this galette) could have as their king.

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