Belfast Telegraph

Snow storm was both beauty and beast, and brought out the best in people... but we long for spring and better weather

The severe weather across Northern Ireland has written its own story about 'a tale of two provinces'.

While some parts have been struggling with deep drifts, other areas have hardly had a drop of snow.

A white-covered landscape is beautiful, but it's not so wonderful for those who have to get to work.

The cost is also enormous, and the latest estimates suggest that the cold snap will cost us more than over £80 million.

All of this raises questions about our preparedness for bad weather. Have we become "snowflakes"? It is no wonder we are laughed at by other nationalities who know how to cope.

Nevertheless, some people show grit in venturing forth, but become gridlocked and are left wondering if they should have left it to the gritters.

Unfortunately, those stranded then need, sometimes costly, help from the emergency services, because no one can put a price on a life.

Many made Herculean efforts to get to hospitals to look after patients, sometimes with the help of 4x4s or other transport.

There was much kindness, too, with people looking after neighbours, and others making sure to feed the garden birds.

In such times social media comes into its own with the public sharing photos of beautiful scenes, of frozen lakes and rivers, or of pets enjoying the snow.

Opinion will remain divided about the best way to behave in such weather. Should we have struggled through the blizzard or should we have stayed at home?

We can all agree on the magic of nature in its extremes, particularly when we stop to take it all in, and perhaps to share images online.

Yet, however much we love the scenery, normality beckons and we look forward to spring.

Belfast Telegraph

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