It was once said to me that as one grows older one becomes more and more concerned about less and less, perhaps it was an attempt at a explanation of the propensity of some older people to seem inordinately concerned with matters that seem trivial to most, but have the capacity to cause alarm and upset for the person affected. Perhaps it is a sign of advancing years that things that never caused concern in the past can now become a preoccupation, for my greatest fear is the weather!
I watch the forecast with keen interest. I have two different apps on my phone, if I don’t like what one says, I turn to the other in hope of better weather. The hours of darkness here in a deeply rural community can be the most challenging time, under clear skies the temperatures can drop sharply, frost can quickly form, and any moistness on the roads can quickly freeze over. In the cities and towns, most roads are busy roads and they are treated with salt. Here, in the country, the main roads are treated with salt and the side roads, which means every road in and out of our village, are to be treated with caution. Perhaps in younger years, it would have all been much easier, perhaps it is the cautiousness of age that endows the roads with a danger they only really possess on a few days of the year, perhaps it is a matter of being an admittedly bad driver, and that most other people would have travelled without hesitation wintry roads that I might have considered with a great deal of trepidation.
My drive to work starts at around 6.30-6.45 each morning, and takes me down a hill from the village and along a low lying moorland road to reach a main road. It is a drive that I would have regarded with fear on icy mornings until a couple of years ago when I discovered that there were Michelin all season tyres, tyres that were as good on snow and ice as in summer sunshine.
Being a natural sceptic, I wondered about such tyres. They are designed entirely differently, the tread goes in chevrons across the tyres instead of around the tyres, as is the case with ordinary radial tyres. They have so far taken me along country roads without faltering. They are supposed to work on five centimetres of snow, but I have not had cause to test that claim. As long as they continue to get me from here to the A39 each morning, I shall be content, and shall perhaps find something else about which to worry.