It’s nearly five o’clock. AM that is. And I can’t bloody sleep. And that’s really surprising after having spent over six hours driving to get here.
I guess we should have known better, travelling on a Friday afternoon, crossing half the country at knocking off time and it being a bank holiday weekend. To be honest we never gave it a thought.
We set out just after two, heading west along the M27 then north up th A34. The roads were busy but we made good time until we were near Oxford at which point we stopped. Then we crawled. Stop, start, stop, start.
The satnag had been trying to get us to leave the A34 for a while but we knew better. Doggedly sticking to the route that we have travelled dozens of times before. Around this time the travel totty on the radio began to pile on the gloom. Spouting tales of woe, an “incident” on the M6, problems on the M42, animals rampaging on this road, a car overturned on that. Then there was the M25 with a traffic jam of some 25 to 30 miles. To cap it all there were news items telling of aeronautical mayhem. Jet fighters scrambled to escort a Pakistani Airlines flight, forcing it to land at Stansted while another incident at Heathrow saw a plane return to the ground with smoke and flames belching from one of it’s engines. The passengers and crew taking to the slides to exit the plane.
It was beginning to seem like Armageddon.
So with all the portents against us we opted to take the satnags advice and abandon the A34. We took the exit for Woodstock and were soon zig zagging our way along A and B roads straight to another traffic jam. According to the nag we were on Station Road heading towards Ardley. All I knew was we were ‘ardley moving.
By the way, it is now 05:25 and there appears to be a party cranking up in the next room. The female voice that has been gabbling on incessantly, since before I started this, has now been supplemented by music and whooping. From the other side it seems someone has struck lucky as the intermittent creaking has reached a crescendo and finally stopped.
Where was I, oh yes, slowly creeping up on the M40. So we made it onto a motorway and managed to make some progress until we had to transfer to the M42. This, like the M25, has an active traffic control system with varying speed limits. Needless to say it was in operation, the gantry’s flashing that we could travel at 40 mph. So of course we were stationary.
Once again the satnag was trying to coerce us into leaving the motorway but after our last, recent, voyage into the unknown, we decided to stay put. After all, one traffic jam is as good as another.
And so we stuttered along on our journey. We made it onto the M6 but our speed didn’t increase by much as the volume of traffic was swollen by hundreds of extra vehicles being forced to stay on the motorway as one of the exits had been closed. Once we got onto the M6 toll we really got a move on and were whizzing along at full motorway speed. Whoohoo !!
Well that didn’t last for long, 30 odd miles and then back to the rolling log jams we were getting used to.
Eventually we made it to our destination, despite the delays we were only about an hour and three quarters later than our original eta. Bearing in mind we would normally have had a pee break and perhaps a coffee. On this occasion the only stops we made were not by choice.
Which is why it is all the more surprising that I am awake at this ungodly hour.
The radio has gone off, baggy mouth has stopped talking and Mr Lucky has presumably drifted off into a blissful sleep.
I think I’ll try and grab me some more Z’s too.