Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Weather chaos on the roads. A traveller's tale.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  I was  caught on the 'white hell' of the M74 yesterday.  And great fun it was too.  People got out of their cars and helped each other, grinning inanely.   A local farmer trundled around offering tows.  Heaving men pushed vehicles out of ditches. Lanarkshire has never looked more wonderful. 

  It blocked at Abingdon where two lorries had got stuck doing what lorries do - which is occupy as many lanes as possible.  I reversed to let one of them back up, and got stuck myself.  Eventually the gritter man came and sucked his teeth. This was a serious man and he wasn't going to be hurried. But after a few more heaves and several shovel fulls of the hard stuff we were off again. Tragedy avoided by prompt and decisive action.

   So, you see - men aren't completely redundant after all.  We may be increasingly superfluous in reproduction, and positively dysfunctional in the new feminised work place. But we're always going to need a few of us still around for days like this.  Man days.  When it snows.  Keep a few of us around in glass cases to be broken open when the weather changes.

  Back on the M74 the road was clear but very snowy.  The north bound carriageway looked like Kosovo during the Balkan war.  But there seemed to be no one going south at all.  I wondered if the road had been closed further north, and kept on going through virgin snow. It was very peaceful.  What a rare privilege - driving noiselessly down an empty motorway.  We should do this every year.



Doug Daniel said...

"two lorries had got stuck doing what lorries do - which is occupy as many lanes as possible."

Damn right. I was travelling along the M8 to Glasgow on my way back from Aberdeen on Sunday night (I'd heard the A80 was a no-go area) and experienced a small amount of delays, but nothing like what I would have experienced if I had been travelling eastbound - I think about three lorries jack-knifed at various points. Passing junction 3A, there was one taking up the whole carriageway, with a multitude of lorries queuing up behind, just waiting to be the next to fall victim.

Why are lorries allowed on the road in these conditions? Is there nothing that can be done to make the inevitable less likely to happen?

(Needless to say, the hold-up on the westbound lanes was, of course, due to rubberneckers slowing down to have a good look at what was happening over at the other side. Typical.)

wee folding bike said...

Nothing has stopped my Brompton yet and I had to use it to rescue the car on Monday.

If it gets very bad I'll break out my two wheel drive Longstaff tricycle but it doesn't fit in a roof box.

Anonymous said...

This is the closest Iain has got to a Twitter update!

Looking out the window the white cover gives everything a timeless feel. Let it snow!

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain,

You demonstrate the power of the media in Anglicising the language very well. If you look closely at the road signs on the M74 you will find that the place at which you were blocked was not Abingdon but Abington, the former name being heard on the BBC occasionally as it is in England somewhere.

Abington, being in Scotland and just a small village is never spoken of on the BBC, and if it ever were to be I suspect it would be pronounced just as you spelled it!

Sorry for being pedantic, but could we at least get our own place names correct on a Scottish blog.


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