måndag 8 februari 2010

Coldest winter in Sweden for many years


Snowy night in Gothenberg, originally uploaded by seadipper.
My visit to Sweden has been during the coldest winter for fifteen years or so. Does everything carry on working like clockwork? No. The railways have been disrupted with the usual things like failed trains and iced-points, and the island ferries have been running to a special ice timetable. And people have been slipping and injuring themselves on the ice.

Nevertheless, better preparations have been made for the extreme cold weather and things keep going. Which is no criticism of the authorities in southern England, who have been caught out, because it is expensive to prepare for cold weather and it is better to take the risk of occasional disruption.

Living in a cold climate demands careful preparation or the consequences can be fatal. Which probably explains quite a lot about Swedish attitudes and the national character. It is an environment that is not so hostile that it is not usually possible to take control but the details have to be thought through in advance. It is not something one would appreciate without a visit at this time of the year.

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