Thursday, 11 December 2008

Racing Snails

Any normal work day means Rene transports us across the border into sunny England and to our desks in a quiet market town in around 25 minutes. On a bad day when the town is gridlocked we might have to sit and wait for a whole minute while the single set of traffic lights changes to green. Its fantastic knowing that at five o'clock when I switch off my PC by half past I am usually driving through our gate at the bottom of the drive.
Today wasn't an ordinary day, I had to trundle over to Birmingham and spend a very interesting day on case studies and so was forced to endure the rush hour of the second city once again. The only plus to this was that I didn't have to take a massive detour to collect a colleague who was otherwise engaged in Ireland. Hopeful that this would knock off at least an hours travelling Rene and I set out to do battle with other motorists who all wanted our patch of tarmac.
Things were going swimmingly until the second from last roundabout, we were way ahead of schedule and despite having set out an hour later than last time it looked like we would make Digbeth in time for a nice cuppa before I had to start work.
800 yards from the roundabout some ominous cones and signs had appeared. It took a full thirty five minutes to cover the 800 yards to the single lane still operational onto the roundabout. Tempers were getting frayed, drivers tried to reverse off the road, people were carving each other up and making far from friendly hand gestures to each other. Rene and I rose above such uncouth conduct and persevered despite some jeering from a bunch of snails having a day out in the litter of the central reservation.
Finally Rene and I were on the roundabout and we could see the cause of everyone's torment. A massive accident? A burst water main? Three lanes being resurfaced after a flood? No, none of these.
There in a yellow Council lorry parked across two coned off lanes was a single "workman" reclined in the drivers seat fast asleep. Despite the signs there were no men at work anywhere.
I sincerely hope that Rene's twin air horns which can sound remarkably like an out of control articulated lorry bearing down on you didn't disturb the non workman's slumber too much!

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