We’re On The Road To Somewhere

It was just after eight last Saturday morning when I set off to spend the weekend with my friend who lives in Hanworth, west London. It was a journey familiar to me as the Twickenham stadium is less than ten minutes from her home. I’d calculated that it shouldn’t take more than two: perhaps two and a half hours to drive there using the M1 from Northampton, the M25 west, then onto the M4 heading in the direction of Heathrow: easy. Everything was fine and running according to plan until I began to encounter ever slowing heavy traffic on the approach to Luton. The ominous myriad of red lights in the distance didn’t bode well. In short, I spent the next three hours virtually stationary in temperatures that were fast approaching twenty five degrees, though it felt even hotter than that as I fiddled with the sat-nav in the vein hope that it might somehow have the magical power to ‘beam’ me out of the claustrophobia that is the middle lane. Leicester Tigers were to play Harlequins at Twickenham and a major football match was scheduled to kick off at Wembley. We’ve all been in this situation at one time or another. Flights to catch, people to see, places to go, appointments to keep and games to watch. The heat of the day was having an effect as drivers and their passengers began the relentless struggle to keep cool. Thankfully I’d filled the tank with petrol, brought a bottle of water and had even had the unintentional foresight to put a large bag of hard mints in the glove compartment. I had the additional benefit of air conditioning which helped serve two major purposes: temperature and temperament control. As I looked around my tiny segment of motorway frustration, I began to feel empathy for those with babies and young children, the less-abled and all those who might have an appointment, perhaps at a hospital or clinic, or even an aeroplane, designed to whisk a family off to a well earned, much anticipated holiday: perhaps the trip of a lifetime. Football and rugby fans began to meander around on the motorway, leaving their respective coaches, mini-busses and team-coloured-decorated-cars, to take advantage of an unexpected cigarette breather and a quick run to the verge for a much needed beer induced comfort break. To cut a long journey short, and after almost losing the will to live, I eventually arrived in Hanworth at about two o’clock that afternoon – six hours after leaving my Gretton home. I have wondered about my ‘fellow travellers’ that hot day, even though they were unaware of my presence or my thoughts. Did they arrive in time to see the Tigers narrowly beaten by Harlequins? Did they manage to get their car parked in the long stay at Heathrow and catch that flight to the sun? Did everyone travelling in the same direction to go different places eventually get there? And, above all, was the wait worth the wait?

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1 Comment

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One response to “We’re On The Road To Somewhere

  1. Jim Drummond

    M40 longer in distance but likely to save you couple of hours travel

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