What a wintry blast we have all had across the country. It is not fully over yet for some and many things are not yet back to normal. Roads, deliveries, transport, appointments to name but a few! The majority heeded the travel warnings and some who didn't, ended up in a bit of a pickle. Our doctors, nurses and other health professionals deserve a special mention, travelling in appalling conditions and some even sleeping in the hospitals to ensure being at work the next day! Incredible commitment and a wonderful example of putting others before themselves. Full credit too to the people who drove some of them to work in their 4x4's and made sure they helped out where possible. Always lovely to see community spirit and how people pull together in a time of need.
One of the most touching of stories over the weekend, was the couple who were getting married and had had many people contact them to cancel. By complete chance, the hotel where they were having the wedding was also where the BBC Concert orchestra had been stranded. They ended up with an entrance to a live version of Pachelbel's Canon instead of the recording they had planned to play. Lovely!
However, alongside these touching stories also comes stories of extreme selfishness and odd decision making. Our local supermarkets and shops have been out of bread, milk, fruit and vegetables and most fresh meat. These are not situations we are used to and some people are extremely intolerant of them. There are much worse things and they are certainly not life threatening! We all need to remember this when we see bare shelves. Make do with what you have. Everyone had to do that during the war with rationing. I always tell my sons this and it makes you sit up and realise all the little things you take for granted. Unfortunately, people have short memories and forget very quickly and the greed and overbuying starts all over again. I was disgusted to see people binge buying and a hoarding mentality for an expected siege. Nobody needs six loaves or ten litres of milk or five bags of potatoes and four chickens. Shockingly, much of this food will go off or be rammed in a freezer, only to be used many weeks or months after the shortages. People need to make do and improvise. Buy one or two fresh items and eat more frozen produce. Substitute potatoes with rice or pasta or do without. It won't do you any harm! Bake bread or skip it for a few days. Use powdered milk and save what you can for young children and the elderly. A friend of mine even had the misfortune to witness two women fighting over the last loaf of bread. The shopkeeper was so disgusted that he ripped it open, split it in two and asked them to leave his shop! I am pleased to say that behaviour like that is not too common and there are many good people in this world.
Sometimes small acts of kindness are the ones that cause the greatest effect. The next time we face some challenging weather, knock on the door of a neighbour you feel could do with a little help. Offer to shop, clear a path or just simply offer some company. They will be most grateful and trust me, you will feel better because of it!