I say, I say, I say - how much snow does it take to close 34 schools? I thought I'd show you with a picture, and thanks to having a little more time on my hands and some inspiration from UK Myste's macro set from yesterday, I busted out the tubes.
I'm really narked, as I've got a lot of stuff that I could be doing. An empty school is my ideal scenario, and having made the battle against the snow and got into work on time to be told not just that you 'can' go home but that you 'must' go home is a right bloody pain.
I must be the only person in the world grumbling about what is essentially an extra day off, but it does irk a bit - especially when you've made the effort and you know that you've probably got colleagues who haven't even bothered getting dressed today.
Anyway, as locals will know, we got about two to three inches of snow last night. How can that bring a city to a crawl?
Well...my first clue comes from the fact that I got a pint of milk, but no footsteps from the milkman. That leads me to deduce that the snowfall was intense and recent. If it starts snowing heavily at 5am then there's really nothing that the gritters can do. And that proved to be the case. Roads were abominable. It seems that a decade of no major snowfall has gifted Liverpool with a huge amount of drivers who (and it's not their fault) have no idea how to deal with snow.
Edge Lane was absolutely rammed at 7:20, and by making a few diversions my 20 minute drive to work took me about forty minutes.
If you combine the fact that your journey time is going to double with the fact that teachers seem to have a huge aversion to living within a ten mile radius of where they work then you suddenly find that you're missing a whole bunch of teachers. You can't really use a skeleton staff - you've either got enough teachers or you haven't.
This means that at some point a school is going to have to make the decision to close. Suddenly, even if that's a primary school, you've now got between two and four hundred parents with child care problems. So they ring in to work and say they'll be late or not there at all. So more schools close. And then the whole thing, with no pun intended, snowballs all the way up to about half nine, by which time at least 34 Liverpool schools have made the decision to close for the day. I feel for Laura and all the other essential health workers who don't have the option of closing. My real sympathy today though goes out to the bus drivers who are manfully doing their best to keep the city going. Well done chaps (and chapesses).