Alligator pools

So HNY dear readers. A while since I sat blogged and so much to write about; the beautifully talented Pele, my grandson’s appearance on the English football scene as the country’s youngest ever manager, the state of the UK, and our latest move from Stratford-upon-Avon to Towcester. Maybe I’ll focus on that to begin with….

So we moved her to be nearer all our daughters and grandsons. Our daughter Sarah and family returned home after 5 years in NYC and settled in Northants so we are now all co-located. And it is great to be near everyone. Towcester has loads of history; the Roman Watling St (the A5) runs literally through the town and there’s a well-preserved motte and bailey mound dating from the Norman period located 30 yards from the High St.

There are actually remains from several 1000’s of years ago as one of England’s earliest known social settlements – as I found out at our local museum  –  and I like to discover all this stuff. Apart from one or two new developments I don’t think the town has expanded much beyond its Roman dimensions in 2000 years which is satisfying somehow. A town that knows its limits.

We live in an area that straddles an old man-made stream off the nearby river Tove which served the old mill – now converted Into a thriving micro-brewery. The stream is still there except it’s referred to as the Moat and our new complex is generally known as the Moat Lane redevelopment. It’s village-like and surrounds that old mound. We love it.

But something we don’t like abut the area is the condition of some of the local roads. They are building a bi-pass to take a lot of the heavy traffic away from the High St. Currently it attracts a lot of heavy haulage vehicles heading along the A5. That’s contributed to the terrible state of the A5 road itself between here and Milton Keynes. This is one of England’s oldest and greatest main roads and it has potholes along it deep enough to allow alligators to thrive in them. They say dogs, cats and even sheep and small horses regularly disappear in these urban lagoons.

The problem is compounded by the fact that there are no street lights along the section of the A5 so if you’re heading to or from MK after say 4pm then you stand a very real chance of damaging a shock absorber, spring, tyre or even a wheel. You cannot see the holes until the last possible seconds and so the whole road is full of late swerving vehicles which is just highly unnerving. I hate driving along the road at night time. The bi-pass is not quite ready to be opened but we hear that some refurbishment work may be scheduled in the meantime. Woo hoo. If we get away without some damage to our new car I’ll die a happy man.

In case you think I’m over-exaggerating about the state of the roads, here’s a shot of a local road leading up to our nearby Aldi…

Now look at the state of that road. Zoom in and you’ll see some mean reptiles. And if you can zoom in, check out that sign in the background. In case you can’t see it’s the Highways Department depot ie the people responsible for making sure our roads are, well, road-worthy. Doesn’t it strike you as deeply ironic that the people who have access to all the asphalt filling material for potholes, cannot detect the 300 holes immediately outside their premises? If it was me I’d sort these monsters first thing or last thing with any spare filler. Don’t they have to drive their cars over this patchwork every single day?

Don’t you worry about what motivates people?  I do. The nation that won two world wars, led the Industrial revolution, developed some of the greatest engineering and scientific developments and created the largest Empire the world has ever seen, and now we can’t sort out a few frigging potholes, even when the crew responsible for it are staring them in the face.  Just fill in the f*cking holes for Christ’s sake.  Act now and apologise later, if necessary, has always been my motto. A dying breed obviously.

pothole-hating paulie


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About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

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