Wednesday, 20 June 2007

I've seen the future...

...and it's piebald.

On my way to Bath yesterday I was stuck in a long queue of traffic. Not a huge shock, as Bath is always a complete nightmare to get across, especially in the afternoons. This hold-up however was on the A36, in the middle of nowhere. And what caused it?

A horse and cart.

Fair enough, I suppose. Glastonbury this weekend, Stonehenge about to get the annual hippy invasion, bound to be a few odd vehicles on the roads.

But no. This cart was not driven by hippies or druids or bloody star children.

It contained what appeared to be a local famer and his mate. Loads of stuff in the back, looked like they'd been shopping, most likely at the nearby Mole Valley Farmers. Probably buying rat traps and enormous industrial-sized boxes of washing powder. Maybe some sheep ointment. And a new pair of odd-coloured corduroy trousers. I love that shop.

It was a refreshing little inclusion in a long and otherwise dull drive.

The presentation went very well, by the way. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have compared the current financial approvals process to an Arthurian Quest:

"Bring me the head of the Black Knight, and then, and only then, shall the first committee review your submission. If you please them, they will set you another mighty task. Succeed, and you may submit your second iteration for review. Fail, and you shall be cast into the outer darkness FOREVER. Mwahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa."

Apart from that, it was constructive and positive. Got loads more work to do as a result, but it will all help us get to where we want to be. And my boss was pleased, so that was good.

The trip home was a bloody nightmare. Left Bath at quarter past five, got home at quarter to seven. Dead Maids Hill was closed, I assume living up to its name, and so everyone got diverted off the main road.

I love it when that happens. The police block the road, stick a "Diversion" sign up to guide you into a maze of tiny lanes - cars, caravans, huge European articulated trucks with no clue about the fucking Highway Code - then effectively tell you to fuck off and find your own way home.

Do they only have the one "Diversion" sign in Wiltshire?

Aha, no. They have hundreds, but it seems they are all stacked at the side of the roads around Stonehenge (where the demons dwell) for tomorrow's big Solstice event.

Druids. Bastards.

Aaaanyway, reverting back to my original point...this morning as I was driving in I encountered another horse and cart. A different one, driven by an elegant elderly lady with a couple of long dogs running alongside. Obviously on her way to town, presumably to go shopping as she had a load of bags and baskets in there with her.

Makes sense I suppose. If you don't have far to go why use a car? Got a field? Stick a couple of horses in it and get a cart. Do they have to pay road tax? No fuel costs, just vet bills and horse food. If I had a shorter commute I might think about it. I could store it in the bicycle rack until hometime. Heh. If I didn't hate and fear all of horsekind.

Off to London tomorrow for a meeting. On the train. No fighting through the post-sunrise throng for me. And I am taking a day off on Friday because I have some stuff to do locally, and have no desire to join the long slow crocodile of Glastonbury-bound traffic that is bound to fill every road for miles around. I shall watch it on the local news and be smug that I am not involved.

The weather forecast is appalling. I have spent too many long, long weekends wallowing in mud on campsites to want to do it again anytime soon.

Mr WithaY is off shooting on Saturday. I, however, am going to sit with my nose pressed to the window, waiting for the windscreen repair guys to turn up.


Anonymous said...

I hitched to glastonbury once,not to the festival, I drank a few jars of scrumpy, and crawled back to the campsite, climbed into what I thought was my tent, only to be greeted with shrill girly screams as the girls occupying the tent saw this hairy headed guy crawling into their tent. Happy days. Oh I bit the bullet, you can find my blog at

I'm the guy with the chains on his boots

livesbythewoods said...

You nicked the majority of my name, you thieving git!


Well, keep up the good work.

Caro said...

I'm glad your presentation went well.

The solstice celebration sounds interesting. Is it like a festival of sorts or a ritual?

Why do you hate horses?

livesbythewoods said...

Caro - the annual Stonehenge thing is basically a chance to get into the middle of the stone circle at Stonehenge and watch the sunrise on the Longest Day.

I just watched our local TV news coverage, and as usual it looked like a mob of several thousand various eejits all standing around trying to look meaninful and deep while a bunch of other eejits played bongoes and smoked too much dope.

Access to the stones is strictly controlled for the rest of the year, but on this day it is allowed. I think they said there were about 24,000 people there this morning.

I hate horses becasue they are big gallopy bastards who would trample you into the ground as soon as look at you.