Column: We won’t be beaten by Beast of the East!

Pic: George McLuskie
Pic: George McLuskie

As I write this I’m looking out my window and can see a beautiful blanket of snow and some clear blue sunny skies.

However, given how the last five hours have gone, I know that in five minutes I won’t be able to see a thing out the window again as another whiteout occurs.

There’s no denying that the Beast from the East as this weather has been branded has arrived.

The heavy snow and freezing conditions are here, as predicted by the weather forecasters.

It’s nice just for a change that the weather is living up to their expectations.

Originally it was the yellow warning, then an amber warning and now it’s been upped to red, the most severe.

It’s the first time that a red warning has been issued since the traffic light warning system was introduced.

But is it just me, or does the whole ‘red warning’ thing seem to suggest that the end of the world is nigh?

And this traffic light system, is it really necessary? We used to manage without it, so why do we really need it now?

Yes it’s very cold and snowy out there, our roads are grinding to a halt as gritters struggle to keep up with the heavy snow falls, but do these warnings not encourage people to panic?

I appreciate that times have changed and these days through social media and the like people are able to keep up to date a lot easier than before – there’s no need for pyramid phone calls about school closures.

However I don’t see it as something we need to scare people with.

Let people know that there’s going to be bad weather and encourage them to be prepared, but let’s not panic.

I’d like to say at this point that too many times the work of the drivers who risk their lives in the gritters is under appreciated, with them regularly coming under fire for not having cleared some cul-de-sac where Mrs Miggins lives.

But these folks do an amazing - and dangerous– job trying hard at all hours to keep our traffic moving.

In such extreme conditions as these it’s definitely not an easy job and must be extremely frustrating that no sooner have they ploughed a stretch of road than the white stuff has covered it again.

We need to all remember that we’re in Scotland after all and snow is not something new to us.

It might not be every year that we see as much as this, but we coped back in the winter of 2010 when we had the last big dump of snow and I’m sure we’ll be able to cope again this time round.

We aren’t going to let some Beast beat us after all.

Snow may be an inconvenience stopping us from getting on with our lives, but perhaps this heavy snowfall and the ‘snow days’ gives us time to slow down, sit back and reflect on things.

Or alternatively it offers a great chance to spend some quality time with our families and loved ones – whether that be tucked up cosy in the house in front of the fire or braving the cold and venturing into the snow to build a snowman. However you decide to spend the snow days, enjoy them if you can.