31 March 2022

FUNNY WEATHER

 


We went to Loches for a garage visit yesterday teatime, did a spot of shopping and called for a pizza at our favourite troglodyte restaurant.  I took this picture of the sun setting above the clouds over Ciran on the way home.

Our back garden in the UK this morning*.

Incredibly, earlier in the week snow was forecast for here tomorrow.  That forecast has been moderated to freezing temperatures overnight rising to 5°C during the day.

Last weekend we were basking in 23° and having our first bbq of the year!

*My brother is currently staying in our house in the UK for much of the week while ever we're away so that he can be nearer to my dad to keep an eye on him.  His house is 60 miles away, a motorway journey that can vary in time from one to three hours depending on volume of traffic and, more than anything, diversions for road works and crashes.  Such is route planning in the UK.  

Our house is normally a five minute drive from Dad's flat.  When the road becomes blocked by traffic we have discovered ways around it, often a detour of several miles that can take much longer but better than just sitting in a queue.

Interestingly, my brother said the other day that he now understands why we grumble so much about the traffic in Derbyshire.  Apparently he used to think we were exaggerating, but now that he is living there for most of the week he gets it.  Living on the outskirts of a heavily populated area with a major motorway going through the middle of it is a recipe for travel misery.  Every time there is a crash traffic gets diverted right through the outer small towns and villages, through the middle of the main town and out through the smaller towns and villages on the other side, causing huge traffic jams and choked roads everywhere as people try to find other ways to get where they're going.  Much of this motorway is "smart motorway", where the hard shoulder has been sacrificed to create a fourth lane to ease the congestion.  They are death traps and we feel we are taking our life in our hands every time we use one.  Most of the fatal crashes involving breakdowns occur on these motorways and they're still being built.

What's also being built is thousands of new houses on huge housing estates all around the outskirts of the town.  Thousands of acres of farmland are being developed and as these houses gradually become occupied it's already noticeable that all the roads in the area are getting busier and busier and the system fails completely when there is a problem such as a road blocked by a breakdown.  It only takes the road to be blocked in one direction because of a broken down bus or lorry for traffic flow to come to a stop and cause chaos.  Frustration causes angry drivers to drive badly and more accidents follow.

The road outside our French house has been busy this morning.  At least four cars and a tractor have passed in the last half hour!  And we're expecting the bin lorry any minute now!

10 comments:

  1. I HATE smart motorways with a passion. Yes we woke to heavy snow in Norfolk this morning, cannot believe I was basking in London sunshine last week. Blue sky and sunshine now.

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    1. The reports of fatal accidents following breakdowns are terrifying.

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  2. Traffic - the bane of all our lives, although where we live we include tractors and large farm vehicles as the biggest offenders for hold-ups. Mega farm businesses with fields spread out all over an area add to the problem (as well as putting mud all over the narrow roads) along with ever bigger agricultural machinery much of it hired from only a few central points. Roads really could be great, if nobody else is permitted to use them perhaps.

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    Replies
    1. The problem is in planning; unchecked development where the infrastructure cannot support the growth and additional needs. The roads were fine until the volume of traffic outstripped their capacity to cope.

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  3. what is a troglodyte restaurant?

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    1. A restaurant in a cave!
      In our area there are hundreds of caves that were (and in some cases still are) used as dwellings and this restaurant is in one of them. Cave dwellers are otherwise known as Troglodytes.

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  4. Did you just get some snow?
    We've had unforecast snow this afternoon... also unforecast hail/sleet!!

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    Replies
    1. We did!
      It didn't hang around for long, thankfully!

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  5. California dreaming, if you know what I mean.

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