We deserve a long, hot summer after this winter

AS I write this "As I See It" column in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times office, I can see from my window that the snow shower which has covered our town is easing.

Although a small part of me is disappointed I probably won't be able to take my three-year-old daughter out sledging once I get home, I am, in the main, happy the white stuff we've all become so accustomed to is disappearing.

For the second winter running now, like everyone around me, I've had to adapt to often bitterly cold and challenging travelling conditions.

Following the 2010 "cold snap", friends who previously thought any kind of all-weather gear was for the ski slopes now consider snow boots, thermal layers and fleeces as wardrobe staples, while one colleague, for whom the concept "dressing for winter" is alien, (she prefers the concept "let's turn up the heating") is considering buying a survival kit for her car.

We've all had to adapt one way or another and when the snow disappeared after Christmas, I must admit to being a little bit sad. I've loved those days out sledging with my daughter, building the snowmen, and admiring the wonderful local winter scenes.

But, on saying how magical snow can make even the most drab of places look, fellow colleagues, who have to commute into work, bring me back to earth with a thud with comments such as "it's alright if you don't have to be anywhere"!

I totally agree of course, for while this cold snap has brought out some of the best traits of human nature, for example, people caring for their elderly neighbours and relatives, it has also brought out some of the most annoying ones in others.

We all understand that driving in snow and ice is difficult and if possible should be avoided. But if people are forced to use their cars surely it's not too much to ask for them to use their common sense.

I have been amazed during the bad weather at the terrible driving and complete recklessness of some motorists.

I mean, what on earth could you be in such a hurry for to pull out in front of an oncoming vehicle when the road is covered in slush or ice?

And why, as a pedestrian, would you saunter out into the road laden with shopping bags just a hundred metres in front of a car when the road is like an ice rink?

And don't even get me started on those "parents" who think it's a good idea to take their children for a winter walk on a frozen river or lake.

Now I'm in no way professing to being any kind of expert when it comes to these matters, but I have got enough common sense to know what not to do in such weather.

It is all a learning curve though and maybe if these cold winters become the norm we'll soon all be experts on how to deal with the conditions.

I just hope we'll be rewarded with a long hot summer this year in return.