In this time of big freeze, many people have had to park their cars away from their homes, if they live on ungritted side streets and/or their street is on an incline.
This can lead to the scenario I witnessed in a nearby street on Sunday morning, of at least thirty residents out with their shovels chipping away at the ice to make the road useable. The scene from the foot of the hill was worthy of Breughel. I stopped to note all the conversations that were taking place: no doubt there's plenty of new social capital available to people now.
By contrast, here's another local tale, of a resident who went out to clear her stretch of the road, shovelling and chipping away at the stubborn ice. A neighbour appeared and said, 'are you working for the council now then?'
The traditional passive model of service expectation dies hard, but I suspect its demise will accelerate in the coming big spending freeze.