Sunday, 8 February 2009
The face of adversity
Monday the 2nd of February 2009 will be remembered by me as the day that 'adverse weather conditions' became the latest weasle words to be accepted into the vernacular as have ‘the war on terror’, ‘credit crunch’, and ‘the journey’ that every X-Factor contestant blubs about.
6.30am Monday morning Lisa, Lantana’s head chef, rang me tell me that she didn’t think it would be worth opening as no one could get to work. I opened the curtains and was amazed by the whiteness and the silence. Snow everywhere and not a car or bus on the road.
I thought I should still go into Lantana for a couple of hours to catchup on some paperwork so I went on to the Transport for London website to see what public transport was running. I smiled when I read that no buses were running and many tube lines were suspended due to “adverse weather conditions”. I love obtuse government speak. But as I proceeded on my journey to the café (a physical one, not a metaphorical one), I discovered that this expression had gained widespread adoption as the new word for snow. Shops displayed signs saying they were shut “due to adverse weather conditions”, every five minutes an announcement was made in tube stations about delays caused by “the adverse weather conditions” and the next day the newspapers told of school closures, losses to small businesses and numbers of people unable to get to work due to the “adverse weather conditions”.
I didn’t get to do any paperwork or play in the snow because I ended up making coffee for a steady stream of regulars who came into Lantana throughout the day. So for me, the best part about the adverse weather conditions is that it gave everyone an opportunity to talk and read about something other than the ‘global financial crisis’.