They are digging up the road between here and the village.
I don’t know quite what they are doing but I suspect they’re laying pipes or something. Whatever they are doing they don’t seem to be in any hurry as they have been at it for weeks, though it feels more like months.
I should explain that the road isn’t that wide – perfectly sufficient for one lane in each direction. Coming up from the village, there is a little hill. For the first couple of hundred yards or so it climbs around three hundred feet and also twists a bit. The easiest way to get to the top of that hill is to drive flat out through the village to hit the hill at speed and with a bit of luck you’ll make it to the top. Also with a bit of luck there’ll be no one on the crossroads at the bottom of the hill.
From the top of the hill the road is quite straight and only climbs for another hundred or so feet [now you know why I tend not to walk from the village in my advanced years?].
Back to the roadworks….
Because they are digging up one side of the road, the latter is reduced to one lane. This of course means one of my pet hates – temporary fucking traffic lights. Even worse, the lights have been programmed by some idiotic cunt who knows little or nothing about traffic flow. The default setting is red in both directions. After several minutes, one or the other will turn green just long enough to let through a couple of cars before going back to red again for another few minutes.
Locals are used to the lights at this stage and if you are in a queue going up or down and the lights change red, you just ignore them in the sure knowledge that oncoming traffic still has a long wait ahead of them. If you are the only car though and the lights are red, you don’t know if there is suddenly going to be a flood of traffic coming towards you. All you can do is wait. If you are heading out of the village and have to stop it means a nasty hill-start. That one really sorts the men from the boys.
They have finally reached the top of the hill and are now working on a straight stretch. This means you can ignore the lights altogether as you can see if the road is clear. I refuse to take orders from a fucking light bulb.
Yesterday I was heading home. There were two cars in front of me as we crested the top of the hill. There were the lights – red as usual. I could see in the distance a queue of cars waiting at the far end. Obviously their light was red too. So the question was – which end is going to go green first? If it was my end, I could overtake the two waiting cars and barrel down the length of the roadworks. However if the other end gets the green then I’m stuck half way along with the road blocked by oncoming cars.
In the end, I cheated. I overtook the two cars, went through the red light and then nipped into a little housing estate that runs parallel to the road. I shot down their private road and as I got to the end to rejoin the main one, cars were pouring down to the village. I had made the right guess. I headed on home. The last thing I saw in my mirror in the distance as I rounded the final bend was the two cars I had overtaken, still waiting patiently for the light to change green.
Some people take laws too literally.