Net invaluable in winter whiteout

That lovely wee polar blast that blew through town early this week was certainly a shock to the system, writes Jillian Allison-Aitken in this week's Online.

No matter what it's doing, we all like to talk about the weather: it's too hot (yes, it does happen), it's too cold, too windy, too whatever.

I know there are people out there who think snow is wonderful stuff but I'm not one of them. Although, at least this time it happened in winter, when cold things are meant to invade our city (unlike last year's spring surprise).

And for any non-Southlander reading this, please note: it rarely snows in Invercargill, we don't have polar bears skating down the main street and not once in my 40-something years have I encountered a penguin in the wilds of downtown Invercargill.

Anyway, Monday was just too cold, slippery and dismal to warrant leaving the house so – embracing the wonders of modern technology – I opted to work from home. That's one of the benefits of working online I guess. Besides, I'm sure my workmates were quite happy to be rid of my coughing and spluttering for a day.

Once again, the internet proved its worth, with many of us turning to the web for up-to-date information on the snowstorm.

The MetService was the first stop for the latest weather forecasts but the NZ Transport Agency and the AA's Roadwatch site had all the latest on what roads were open and which were skating rinks.

Of course, I'm sure all of you out there who were after the latest news about the weather, the roads and anything else of interest (was there anything else of interest on Monday?) were checking in on our website at regular intervals.

Unless you were too busy making snowmen, naturally. In which case, I'm sure you were posting photos of your icy sculptures on our Facebook page.

This week's video is Simon's Cat in Snow Business. And if you haven't heard of Simon's Cat, make sure you check out all the videos in the series. They are hilarious in ways only a cat-owner can fully understand. Hang on, cats don't have owners, do they? They have staff.

» Jillian Allison-Aitken is a senior staff member at The Southland Times and was named best internet and communications technology columnist at the 2008 Qantas Awards.

The Southland Times