11 February 2009

Life in Norway VII - Contrasting attitudes to a bit of snow

It has been dumping snow fairly consistantly in the big B for over a week now. We are not talking meters of the stuff, but almost everyday there is 10-15 cm of fresh stuff, laid down over night, while the day time has been cold and clear with blue skies. The place looks stunning - this is western Norway at its best.

Meanwhile the UK has had a fair bit of the white stuff as well. "Harshest" winter for 27 years! I remember the winter of 1982 pretty well, I was living on a farm in Wales and we were cut off for several weeks. It was great! The farmer down the road took it upon himself to use his tractor to clear the road and when the snow pile he had accumulated finally melted a month later there was a huge pile of cat-eyes left behind!
Back in the 21st centuary and from my current perspective, its interesting to compare the reaction to the recent cold spell in the UK and Norway, its an interesting insight into the national pyschee of both places.

Two newspaper front pages sum it up perfectly.
The first is from the Sun, the UKs most popular gutter tabloid. Basically it bemoans the weather, slags the government for not being more prepared and focuses on kids missing school and the cost to the economy of all those lost work days.

In contrast, this is from BA, a comparable popularist paper from Norway. The headline translates to "Take the day off from work!" and is an instruction to get out and make the most of this great weather.
It says so much about the work life balance and general priortites in the two countries.

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