Anyone familiar with living in cold climates will be aware of the new danger that lurks on every street corner, but for those of you in more temperate zones please spare us a thought.
Snow accumulates, thaws and refreezes at night. Gradually this cycle continues until every building is adorned with icicles and every pitched roof has a sheet of ice trying to defy gravity.
Eventually Sir Isaac Newtons laws kick in and you hear a soft whoosh sound (if you are lucky) and a 3 m square 100mm thick piece of ice will slide off the roof three stories up – to the pavement below.
A more deadly attack is from the icicles themselves. Pointed, heavy and without any warning sound to accompany their descent they fall randomly from the numerous balconies. When they land they leave behind a pile of crystals – which when you first see them you can easily ascribe to being some freak of nature – a natural occurrence. No, they are a lucky escape.
Every street therefore has a tangle of red and white tape to warn everyone of the danger overhead…but what can you do? Walk over the frozen snow at the kerb and get sprained ankles / wet feet? Walk along the side of the road and risk being a new badge on a hummer?
In the end you do what the locals do.
Walk through the taped areas and think lucky.