Thursday 25 September 2008: No, not that way...
Move along now
Nothing to see
Directed and diverted
Movement 'aint free
Works are ongoing
From pillar to post
No road is neglected
Edinburgh is pretty much full of these signs at the moment in anticipation of the wondrous second coming of the Tram(s). Meh.
Two days till the weekend and I'm feeling a lot brighter than last Thursday, or the Thursday before. This despite some more aggravation from the boss (with no apology for being told to 'engage your brain' before it transpired I was correct), the alcohol which was consumed last night in victory at the Sheep Heid pub quiz (never have two pints of the same stuff in a night in there) and getting up early for a chiropractor appointment.
Sitting with my purchased breakfast, before heading round the corner into the office, I watched the traffic, happy in the knowledge that I try to drive in the city as little as possible, saving the car for trips beyond, whether for leisure or sheer pleasure. I wonder more and more about people driving in cities 'by choice'.
I know for some there is little other option, depending on routes and distances, but there are plenty with walking, bus or cycling choices, who still choose to sit in their box, blood pressure rising as they stare at the number plate of the car in front. A level of humanisation lost. I don't care about people saying it's their own space, or it's warm, or dry. When you lose contact with other people as 'people' it just isn't worth it. It's why I despair seeing kids driven to school, sullen-faced, matching the driver, going past groups of kids walking the same route who are laughing and joking their way.
Indoctrinated early into an aspect of life that is seen as a 'necessary chore'. Anyone on here who drives less than five miles to work, give leaving it on the driveway a try for 2 weeks. Just two weeks. I can guarantee two things. Firstly you will think the other option is worse, maybe even for the entirety of those two weeks. And secondly when you get back in the car at the end of the experiment you will realise how much more stress you are putting on yourself by choice. Trust me on that.
That's the other thing. People these days are unwilling to 'try'. Just give it a shot. If it doesn't work, hell it doesn't work. If it does then you might just find a little aspect of your life is better. If you don't try then you are actively choosing to be a boring bugger scared of change and who has no right to complain about what other people do from your pedestal of ignorance.
Like I've said before, I don't hate cars, I love them (if that doesn't sound a little too Dreadlock Holiday) and our Mini should be replaced by a new Cooper S before the end of the year, freeing up capital for me to also indulge in a Triumph Stag (anyone picking up on that split infinitive, it's not grammatically incorrect, but an Oxbridge affectation created years ago to demonstrate their superiority over the proletariat - I may shout about that another day). What I hate is the pointless self-indulgent dehumanisation of the centres of our cities and the strange belief that roads are there simply for the cars, and that everyone else is trying to block your progress.
Romans had roads. They didn't have cars. Mind you, they probably had branches of Halfords selling fancy wheels for chariots to teenagers who had no real idea how to control all the horsepower.