Thursday, April 14, 2005

Motorway? No Way!

The "M6 CLOSED" - 15 miles in 3 hours! Posted by Hello

Just as, according to Billy Connolly, many Englishmen labour under the misapprehension that the Scottish football team Partick Thistle’s real name is Partick Thistle Nil, you could also easily imagine that the foreign visitor to England would wonder why our main arterial motorway to the North-West is called M6 CLOSED…

I arrived at Stansted yesterday a little early – I think it was downhill. Things had gone ok on the plane. I had avoided that fat sweaty American with the heavy breathing and the tired screamy kids…and even managed to keep the sardine seat next to me free for my left elbow.

Ok, on the radio I learned that the Pound was stronger today than it had been for weeks against the Euro…but that is normal – my trips into and out of England are inextricably and inexplicably linked to the Sterling exchange rate…investors take note…just before I arrive the pound goes up against whatever currency I am carrying and just after I have left it goes down again.

Add to this the fact that the Sixt people took the trouble to warn me that the M11 southbound was blocked and so made my decision for me about whether to go north on the M11 or south and then round the M25…

So off I bombed in a very nice Ford Focus (thanks Barry) cruise, cruise… The first 150 miles took 2 hours, very relaxing. Unfortunately the next 15 miles took three hours. When there is an accident over here they don’t mess about…they close the bloody motorway, mate! One lorry and a couple of cars crash and that’s your lot!

Then after standing still or crawling along in first gear and neutral inch by inch up hill and down dale we finally arrived at Junction 15 where the accident had happened, to find the good old English Motorway Maintenace Chaps standing in that way they have of standing, looking at a huge heap of sand around an overturned truck…these days they don’t lean on their shovels…but only because they don’t have shovels.

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