A disaster or a lucky escape?

Posted by Amanda Furness

It’s amazing how often you hear a news item and give it a passing thought of “tssk, wouldn’t want to be in their shoes”. Sadly, at some point in your life the law of averages would suggest that their shoes will actually become your shoes!

And so the news at the beginning of this month that the Forth Road Bridge will be closed until the New Year came with the same reaction in my house that I suspect it has with everyone whose work, family or friends are south of the bridge when they’re north of it (or vice versa), “Oh dear, that’s a bit inconvenient” … or words to that effect! Trying to swap to public transport is all very well if you’re heading for the capital’s city centre, but a tad more difficult if you’re then aiming elsewhere and have Christmas presents, or presence, to deliver.

Still, since news of this disaster broke and the immediate shock wore off, the good old British attitude of “we’ll cope in a crisis” has rallied and it’s become more of a talking point than the weather. Well, that’s maybe not quite true since the following weekend the motorway north had enough water on it to submerge a car and had to be closed, adding further misery to the trip south for many.

So other than trying to leave in oodles of time, humour has become the order of the day. Fife is the home of a large distribution warehouse for a well-known internet-based organisation so many images have appeared on social media of people wading through rivers with baskets of goodies on their heads alongside comments such as “Edinburgh folk stocking up for Christmas”! There has also been some good advice on diversion routes such as a map of Scotland with what looks like a 5 year old’s doodle superimposed and written instructions which seem to take you around the entire country and beyond.

Anyway, trying to see the positive, for me the timing could have been worse should it have happened a couple of weeks earlier thereby scuppering my plans to get to the airport for my flight to visit the German Christmas markets. Or it could have happened during the summer and upset many people’s summer holiday plans.

… And although this is obviously not a personal point of view, we could use it as the excuse we’ve secretly been harbouring for years not to see any family or friends over the Christmas period and actually get to spend some time at home putting our feet up and doing exactly what we feel like at the end of a long, hard year!