There's a routine in our house: at 6.45am the radio clicks in with the sound of the Today programme. Jac and I stir slowly. At 7am I shout 'It's seven o'clock L-B' ......and a few minutes later there's the clunk, stomp, stumble, click of our 15 year old wandering into the bathroom. Over the nexthour and a half it's five showers, three kids leaving at different times to different schools - the last one walked to primary by me as Jac heads off to her office. I return about 8.45am, grab that second cup of coffee, and if I'm working from here, settle into the routine of the rest of the day.
Except it hasn't been like that this week. The seven o'clock shout has prompted L-B to scuttle down the stairs and into the office to crank up the PC. On three days out of four it has shown that all three of my kids' schools have closed for the day. On Monday, Jac reappeared after a couple of hours. On Tuesday she worked from home. On both days at the start of the week, hardly any of my clients made it to their offices. Phone interviews have been rescheduled, planning meetings put on ice...literally.
Yesterday was better and a sense of normality returned, briefly. But we've had a heavy snow fall again overnight and things have returned to that surreal state where normal working life is suspended.
(That's my office)
The view from my office window is once again a magical white against a heavy steel sky, but I wonder how much work will actually get done here today? I'm geared up, but the three kids consider today another extra holiday. Jac has headed off for Hughenden with our coal scuttle as a shovel and my high vis jacket just in case. But I doubt her office will stay open all day. Who knows how many of my contacts have made it to work - and how many are stuck in the same situation as me with schools closed and children at home.
We live in a temperate country in a maritime clime completely unprepared for snow. But climate change does seem to be making its effect felt - sharper winters, warmer springs, wetter summers. But as a country we're reacting slowly. We had four inches of snow last night. It seems to have paralysed the whole district. That shouldn't happen.