There's no business like snow business

4 February 2009

What was that about the economy going into meltdown? Sorry it's just that over the last 48 hours or so the only 'melting' the news is paying any attention to is that of the snow.

All that talk of recession, redundancy and further interest rate slashes have been pushed off the frontpages so that we can see alternating pictures of the capital prettily candified in inches of snow and not–so pretty photos of gridlocked traffic and angry commuters shaking their red raw fists to no–one in particular.

After miserably cold and protracted journeys to and from work on Monday, (not helped by a renegade pigeon flying up and down my carriage at Baker Street), I opted to work from home yesterday. Watching BBC breakfast news I realised that after half an hour all of the news items had been about the snow: my favourite was a clip of two London students carefully sculpting an ice teapot,  broken moments after completion thanks to the correspondent's erstwhile arm. Cheery footage of children being dragged to school in their sledges and countless photos of snowmen built up and down the country completed the news-lite. The TV screen was practically oozing hot chocolate, log fires and hats with bobbles on.

On one hand while the media's sudden switch to the white stuff is a little OTT, it's a great way of giving the British public a few days respite from the depressing state of our economy. had even got in on the act posting up a photo of our snowman building activities on Monday.

Undoubtedly the extreme weather conditions haven't just created good news spin though, there's plenty of new bad news to report too: another BBC report showed viewers shots of the M62 boasting gleaming grit and free–flowing traffic but a quick pan out revealed that the nearby A–road was still covered in treacherous snow. All the gripes about the British transport system coming to a standstill and councils' inability to grit roads properly give us a chance to complain about something that annoys us but something that we know won't be troubling us for more than a week.

Sadly moving the headline news to page two in the papers doesn't detract from the fact that Thursday will probably bring news of a further Bank of England interest rate cut. In the meantime I'm burying my head in the slush. Yesterday's Times2's supplement was devoted to all things snow-related and I've got plenty still to read. From artist Gavin Turk's modern snowman - a large egg shape that Turk described as …"a snow egg"; top five tips on sledging; Dennis the Menace's guide to snowball fights and a fashion spread on thermal layering.

I propose a freakish March heatwave in time for the next potential rate cut.  If interest rates are cut to 0% I'm going to need some shallow feel-good factors such as a tan and ice cream to try and (at least) momentarily block it out.

Nathalie Bonney is Editorial Assistant at Moneywise