Tag Archives: traffic jam

Some Unexpected Snow

We did expect snow this afternoon, it was just that we were expecting it in a different place. It was supposed to be on high ground in Derbyshire. Instead, it snowed on the low ground of Nottingham.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carlton Hill – Nottingham

At 12.30 pm it started to rain. By 1.00 it had started to resemble a wintry shower.Then it began to look like snow, which it wasn’t, as none was forecast. By the time I parked by the side of the road it was beginning to stick.

I nearly went straight home, as I had things to do, but I went to visit the jewellers instead and watched from their office window as the flakes became larger and formed a four inch blanket of snow.

That, of course, was just the start of my problems.As I sat in the car to come home, the road seemed to fill with traffic. I cut through a side street and joined a main road. If only I had known what horrors lurked ahead…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Snow in the Trees

I won’t bore you with details, but will merely point out that a fifteen minute journey took me two hours as the traffic system of Nottingham proved unable to accommodate snow and travel at the same time. I actually had to stop at KFC to use the toilets. Such are the demands of an ancient  bladder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Porchester Road – Nottingham

This gave me plenty of time to take photos, as a lot of the time was spent parked and waiting. It was, at the same time, both very annoying and an opportunity for photography.

It’s currently melting nicely, and I’m hoping that driving conditions will be good in the morning.

 

In the evening I battled with the remains of the day’s gridlock as I made it through to the Numismatic Society meeting. The speaker had managed to make it, so it seemed only fair to turn up, despite the temptation to stay at home. He was talking about his hobby – metal detecting – and was an entertaining speaker.  I now have just 4 weeks to prepare my presentation…

It seems the bridge will be staying closed for a few days more, and that the Highways Agency has been way out in its estimates of the re-opening. Julia is back on the bus tomorrow. I feel guilty but the bus was delayed badly today, and is likely to be delayed tomorrow, despite using bus lanes. In a car we have no chance of getting through without queuing for hours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Detail on a Snowy Day

Carmageddon!

I stole the title from a news article. According to T. S. Eliot, it is OK to steal from the work of others.

The Highways Agency closed a bridge in Nottingham on Thursday night to check some damage they had found during a routine inspection. Along with thousands of others I did not know this when I set off to take Julia to work at 8.00 that morning. (To clarify – thousands of others did not know, but only I was taking Julia to work).

A journey which should have seen me spend about 45 minutes in the car, took me two and a half hours. I won’t describe it, or the behaviour of some drivers in the queue. Nor will I complain how bad it was for me or  how useless the Highways Agency are (though this is very tempting – they were totally useless in warning people and totally useless in setting up diversions). They were great at closing the bridge and causing chaos, but I could have done that with a few signs – that’s they easy bit). I won’t even moan about the fact that the bridge, which was supposed to be closed until Friday mid-day, is now likely to be closed until Wednesday.

I am not even going to remark that many people must suffer worse inconveniences than this on a regular basis.

No, today’s gem of wisdom is that if the fairly small matter of a closed bridge brings a city to gridlocked chaos, where would we be if something serious ever happens?

Despite having a prize-winning bus system and an expensive tram system, neither was much use. The buses don’t have bus lanes on the ring road and the trams don’t necessarily go where we need to go, though the network is expanding.

The second gem of wisdom, and I can’t help feeling smug at managing two in one day, is that this is why we can’t get people out of cars and onto public transport. Even when things are running properly Julia has to take two buses and two hours to get to work by public transport. I have never even tried, as it would take two buses and the best part of an hour to do a journey that only takes me ten minutes by car.

So, from one point of view, the problem is poor public transport. From the other it is that I’m selfish. When the world comes to an end, I will have to take my share of the blame for pollution. But in my defence, the bus would take the equivalent of three working weeks out of my year, and deprive the world of a substantial chunk of my writing. This may, or may not be a price the world is willing to pay, but it does at least allow me to say this is the way the world ends, gets me back to Eliot to complete a circular blog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nottingham – Sunset on Wednesday

The pictures are from Wednesday, when we ate scones and did other things I have not yet written about because I left the camera at work, and was then overtaken by circumstances.

A Day of Luck and Spiders

I dropped Julia off at work this morning and, as the day was briefly sunny, came back the long way round. This proved to be a good decision as it enabled me too avoid a terrible tailback and look smug. The two things were not unconnected.

The weather is forecast to be significantly less good for the rest of the day. Hopefully my luck will continue to be good.

I knocked out 350 words about volunteering on my return home, as it’s something I’ve been thinking about and there had been an item on the radio this morning. Unfortunately, despite writing and rewriting (the likely word count was probably at least double the 350 that resulted) I still wasn’t happy with them.

It took so long I was nearly late for my blood test.

Fortunately they were running late so I had time to make an appointment for the flu vaccination clinic. Between 8.00 and 9.00 on a Saturday morning is not the optimal time because it’s our relaxed breakfast morning, with Julia buying fruit from the market and starting work at 11.30. However, I want the jab so I accepted the time.

The luck was clearly starting to leak out of the day.

It took three shots to find a vein today, but it doesn’t really hurt and we had a good laugh about it. Well what else are you going to do, complain to a woman armed with a needle?

I was definitely feeling less lucky, and slightly more leaky by that time when she said:

“Would you like a flu vaccination while you’re here?”

Save a trip to the surgery and have time for a leisurely breakfast – yes I would.

I had to have a different nurse for that. It seems that when you are on Warfarin you need a specially qualified nurse to give you an injection.

You can, it seems, prod me with needles as much as you like, open veins at will and extract blood by the bucketful – that’s OK. But load up with flu vaccine and stick it in a muscle and you need special training.

I had special training in hospital to inject myself with anticoagulants. That took five minutes.

The NHS is a wondrous place.

At that point I had to admit that my luck was improving, as I was vaccinated and had saved time.

After that I called at the parcel office. An irritating family got there just before me and clogged the system up a bit, with two noisy daughters guarding the door while the scrawny father and amply proportioned matriarch blocked the enquiry window. They seemed more than normally concerned by a note they had been sent, telling them pick a parcel up from the office. As they were already in possession of an armful of packages I don’t know why one more was significant.

It was, she thought, a scam facilitated by the theft of her phone on holiday. I don’t  know if it was stolen or not, if she always speaks so much drivel it had probably thrown itself off a cliff.

I’m not sure what sort of scam involves sending the victim a parcel. Possibly one where you post a parcel full of burglars, but I don’t think that’s worked since the Fall of Troy.

Back home I noted a Small White fluttering round the front garden, then a Red Admiral, then a second Red Admiral. By the time I had the camera in action I noticed a massive spider sitting in a web, waiting…

In the end I took pictures of the spider, as it was the most unusual thing. The White flew off, and as I focused on the first Red Admiral they both became skittish and refused to settle.

In the end I think it’s just a female Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus), and not at all rare. It is, in spider terms, quite big, and I will sleep easier tonight knowing I have something that size guarding my garden.

As I sat down to write this they came back so I went out again.

They flew off as I stalked the first one.

If I spot them again I’m taking a rolled up newspaper and a bottle of glue. That should sort out the skittishness.

And finally – they came back!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Red Admiral – at last!

No Red Admirals were harmed in the taking of these pictures. Honestly – no glue needed!