Monday, 8 October 2012

I'm not a grumpy old woman, honest...

There has been a slight delay in posting recently, for a variety of reasons.  Instead, I have for example been doing full-time teaching to cover for someone on jury duty (exhausting), going to a book launch for the lovely Liz Harris (exciting) and relocating my many things from the dining room table to my newly-refurbished office (exiting.  Also clutching at a straw).

So, moving swiftly on from the obvious omission of editing in that list, another village issue.  Each month, our village has a community newsletter, with news from some of the many groups that are run in the village, adverts from local services, details of forthcoming events (for example, a play by the Launton Village Players and a musical show by the Bicester Choral and Operatic Society [known more sensibly as BCOS]).  Most months there is also a page dedicated to 'the communique from the Grumpy Old Men of Launton.

They live up to their soubriquet.  Usually it's about parking or speeding, more recently the weather has come in for a fair old bashing, and this month they've been very grumpy about potholes.  It's an easy target these days.  Country roads in particular seem to disintegrate at the drop of a hat and the current fad for short-term solutions and simply filling a hole with tarmac only makes the overall surface worse.  We've all seen them and I wouldn't normally want to join in the tired chorus.

Except.  Except driving to school last week, I had to swerve slightly to avoid the small area in the middle of the junction in Marsh Gibbon that had been fenced off by traffic barriers.  Excellent, you may think, preparation for some repair work.  But the judder that I felt as I drove past it was less than excellent and I peered in my rear-view mirror, assuming I had run over something large.  Nothing there.  So on the return journey, I went even wider and even slower and saw, *next to* the cordoned-off area, an enormous pothole sufficiently deep to house the entire Monty Python team and extended family.

I was left wondering what had been the purpose of the temporary traffic island.  Has it been moved by some mischievous person on leaving the pub, so that it no longer surrounds the trench in the middle of the road?  Or is it in place for the purposes of a utility company that has nothing to do with the other hole so they certainly won't touch it for fear of litigation?  Answers on a postcard, please; just don't accidentally post it in a pothole.

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