T’is the season to be jolly. Jolly well frozen and jolly well stuck if you had any plans to travel.

It is usually an annual self inflicted torture undertaken by those who live too far away from their families to visit on a regular basis. They move far away to avoid having to spend any valuable time with them yet trek through backed up fume spilling overcrowded cars to spend the most important time of the year with people they ordinarily loathe.

This year has made things doubly challenging.

It has snowed in old england.

Yes, the very thing that many are determined to jet off to foreign climes for is stopping them reaching the airport. Great swathes of crisp white drifting chaos has turned motorways into ice rinks and side roads into laundry chutes.

Now, as is the norm in such weather conditions , the government and all its officers have advised the nation to only travel in dire emergencies. Essential journeys only is the much practiced phrase. So, in light of this the nation as one have risen from it’s sofa and taken to the motorways and byways in a vain attempt to stay with the same people who would also much rather be left alone during the festivities.

Walking to work today,I tried cycling but slid sideways on my rib cage too often within too short a space, I passed several cars that should never have left the driveway. More than few commercial vehicles that were by no means possibly on urgent business and almost all of the vehicles I saw had fewer than half the seats in them filled.

Last week saw the weeding out of the worst drivers with the roads in the morning being strewn with abandoned vehicles and filled with spinning wheels in the afternoon.

The definition of essential journeys seems to be widespread and unrelated though.  I have heard people telling friends they simply have to get to the shops for all the food they need for one day, maybe two. Even to buy presents for people who they see everyday at work and are out doing the same thing amid the crowds. I myself had to walk to work today which is no real hardship but I can’t honestly say it was an essential journey. I manage a furniture store. Not an emergency department or a communications hub. As it proved, I had saw one person all day who was passing and acted on impulse. His purchase would account for less than one percent of the costs of opening today but I was there all the same.

How many people traveled today unnecessarily? A short drive to reprice stationary before the January sales that became an hour of death dodging as you slid sideways bouncing off the snow covered kerb?

All those left sleeping over night on airport departure lounge benches should never had left home. Getting home to the family may seem essential to you at the outset but as long as you have somewhere to stay over the next few days any journey isn’t essential.  If you live most of the year in a cardboard box then you’ll appreciate having anywhere with four walls and a roof in this weather. If however you drive an ambulance or a fire engine then I certainly hope the roads remain clear of the idiots I passed today, yesterday and will pass tomorrow.

Consider if your journey really is worth risking life and limb for. Otherwise you may be the one the emergency services are rushing to.

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