Monday, December 03, 2012

Introducing a weather related hobbyhorse

I have a few hobbyhorses that I usually try to keep well reigned in and safely stabled. However every now and then one of them escapes which results in a rant usually patiently listened to by my long-suffering better half or Katie. 

Here are two of my 'milder' non-education related hobbyhorses: 
1. recipes using unsalted butter and then adding salt later on in the recipe...yes I know it is better quality but are you really going to taste the difference???
2. Unrefined sugar pains me to have to pay double the price for unrefined sugar which is less processed than the cheaper refined version - surely less processing = cheaper product!!!

Beyond these, I have quite a few education related hobbyhorses. My better half has semi-automatic reaction to switch off radio four in the morning if he hears one of the buzz words that he knows would set me off.

Now that I am doing the school run daily I think I am discovering a new hobbyhorse. The effects of weather on the likelihood of parents driving their little darlings to school. 

Coming from a country where you were allowed to stay inside at school break time if the temperature dropped below -17 celcius and where the school run is a non-existent concept as kids walk or cycle (or once you are a bit older and if you life in the countryside come on a moped or snowmobile) to school without parents might add to my bafflement. (Fyi - the school starting age is 7).

It is universally accepted truth that it rains a lot in England. A lot. However it appears that living in a country where it rains a lot does not mean that you are prepared for the rain. Hence kids do not play outside at school in break time when it rains. Neither do they walk or cycle to school when it rains. There is a direct correlation with the heaviness of rain and the decreasing number of bikes in the school bike shed.

If the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence wants to improve the rates of walking and cycling on short journeys I would suggest the first thing they need to do is to tell the general public that they are not made out of sugar...they will not melt if they come in contact with water. Also raising the awareness the existence of equipment such as waterproofs might help ;)

Walking or cycling to school no matter what did me no harm (or so I think). And young sir loves rainy mornings. He gets to cycle through puddles and splash to his heart content whilst singing 'sataa, sataa ropisee, pili pili pom' with me in Finnish. Usually there is no audience par the lollipop lady to this magnificent performance.

This morning there was a light dusting of snow and not surprisingly young sir's bike was the only one in the bike shed. As we cycled through the slush I was reminded of this brilliant road safety video from the 60s that my brother discovered somewhere. Enjoy:

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