It is Saturday evening and Wales have apparently saved their reputation on the 6 nations rugby competition which I managed to miss by not switching the television on! The news channels are reporting large amounts of snow across America, something I should have warned my sister about when she decided to fly from the USA to Wales near to my birthday.. But she has a couple of days to let everything sort itself out. It is cool but wet here in Llanelli, but there are chances for more snow across parts of the United Kingdom in the next couple of days.
There is a lot of snow in the States... There will be large areas of Great Britain covered with white stuff over the next few days.. but how much ??? I really do not know !!
It is not that I have not been listening to the succession of weather reports. It is not that I have somehow not listened to radio reports. If I read newspapers, which I do not as they are a good example of that oxymoron (paper I will accept - but clearly devoid of anything that could be defined as news.!!) then it would not be because I had failed to assess the content of the text.. It is the loss of the common inch that confuses me. All the snow apparently has gone European and now not only falls in flakes that never duplicate, but also now falls in amounts that can only be understood by those in the Eurozone.
It is bad enough that they want to take over the pound and drive us into the common currency - a task in which I feel that they will fail. But after decimalisation and the loss of good old LSD (pounds shilling and pence not Lysergic acid diethylamide) the half crown and the florin, we have managed for the most part to resist many of the incursions into pints, pounds and ounces.
But snow??? Surely it is acceptable for snow to fall in Britain in inches!! If it is thick it certainly should be in feet!! Listening to CNN on my satellite television I do not hear that snow is falling in yards !!! but in Metres!!
My favourite weatherman here tells me that there may be 10 centimetres of snow ... How much is that ?? More or less than a banana?? It means nothing and does not inspire me to put my wellies on or get a snow plough out.
Snow is cold. I have noted the geographical penchant to vary Celsius and Fahrenheit, seemingly a national trait here in the UK to refer to cold by Celsius "it is 2 degrees today" but look at the hot weather only in Fahrenheit "It is going to be in the low seventies today"... I understand this!!. We have a climate that does not "do" extremes. Therefore it is quite acceptable that we would prefer the "hot" weather sound hotter, and the cold weather less extreme....
But snow falls by a certain volume and lies at a certain height when still. Damn it !! If it is British Snow it should damn well fall in British quantities. And that means in Inches not in centimetres.
I do not know what a centimetre is in real money. I know I have looked up the conversion rate many times but it is not something that will stick in my brain. 16 degrees Celsius is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I can remember this. But there are no conversion from the centi-lies to inches that are exact without using those other foul calculations - the decimal point!! No good telling me that there are 2.54 centimetres to an inch.. How can that help? I know children for the last thirty years have used calculators where we used slide rule, and now probably have an "app" for it on their phone but for a simple soul, I would like to know that there will be up to 3 inches of snow ( take wellies ) 6 inches of snow (will need a shovel to get the car out) or a foot of snow ( stay in and have a cup of tea and watch television).
So, I know it is unlike me to have a rant, but surely it cannot be too much for British television and the news media in general to revert to a sensible measure.... sorry - I suppose I have just answered my question !!
So here are a few shots of snow at Furnace Quarry, nr Llanelli. I can tell you there were three inches of snow.. I measured it with my thumb, which I learned at school was three inches from tip to base...