What it says on the tin...



‘Advanced warning this road will be closed…’

A yellow sign went up on our little road again and although road closure might not be a good thing, in this case I stood there with some neighbours thinking that it was a good sign. Could it be that our pot-holed road was going to be renewed any time now? I had a letter saying that between April and August this year the surface would be renewed (better than filling potholes the letter said). We were full of hope.

But soon the notice was removed without any closure nor any improvements, and the road was still full of holes. We left for a bit of a break in Norfolk carefully dodging the huge open craters. On our adventures we came across another big road sign.

‘No boarding without Ferryman’s permission’ it said. When was the last time you spoke to a ferryman? A ramp dropped and we drove on, along with a motorbike. Chains pulled us across the river Yare to the other side. It seemed so old fashioned, but it saved us a thirty-mile round trip. We had to pay with cash.

 ‘Much simpler,’ said the ferryman.

Mind you when we went on the M6 Toll Road it was much simpler to pay with my mobile, I think that there was only one exit taking cash. Then when we went for refreshments for a quick smack, it was easy to punch our order into the computer and pay cashless rather than stand in a queue to speak to someone who would take our order. The old and the new juggle alongside each other.

We stayed in a ‘cabin’ in a field where the owners were ‘rewilding’. There was extensive tree planting and wildflowers thriving looking like white clouds in blue skies. The ox eye daisies were a picture dotted occasionally with blue bugloss and sometimes there were poppies and yellow mullein. Mind you our truly wild fields here at home show no such colour. They are full of different small grasses, forms of dock (called sour Sally in Shropshire) and hay rattle. Packets of wildflower seeds will not make a meadow. The flowers I may remember from my childhood would probably have grown around the margins of the fields and along paths where the soil is often disturbed. The ‘real’ wild meadows are perhaps not as colourful as we like to think.

Then back at home another illusion seems to be shattered. The big potholes are still here, there is still no sign of our road being re-surfaced, but there is a development. The huge crater-like holes have been outlined with white paint.

Is something about to happen?

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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