Monday, May 16, 2005


Anyone who's spent any time in Taunton will involuntarily shudder when I mention Silk Mills Road. Because anyone who's spent any time in Taunton has probably spent a fair amount of their time on that road. Stationary. It is the proverbial bane of the Tauntonian's life.

It's a handy road, linking the A358 in the North to the A38 in the South of the town. I use it every day on my way to and from work.

However, here's the thing:

 Posted by Hello

The "thing", as indicated by that unmistakable double-red flashing light, being a level crossing. Yep, the main railway line from London (Paddington) to Penzance runs right across Silk Mills Road and brings it to a halt on a regular basis. It is extremely rare that I have the pleasure of having "a clear run" down Silk Mills Road on my journeys to and from work. In fact, I can think of only one occasion where I haven't had to stop for a train. I will remember that day forever...

*awakes from reverie to muttering sound*

"But what's that structure we see on the left of the picture, Witho?" I hear you mumble, as you stifle a yawn.

Why, it's both the beginnings of a bridge and thus the beginning of the end of the level crossing's reign of terror. A reign which will finally cease, if all goes to plan, in December 2005.

Curiously, I've also run down that road numerous times, both with the club and alone, but can only remember one occasion where I had to stop for a train.

A couple of weeks ago, I crossed this road as a motorbike approached. When the motorbike passed me, he gave me a little nod as if to acknowledge me. As an ex pillion rider, I'm aware that bikers usually give other bikers a nod or a wave as they pass each other, but why should he nod at me? I nodded back anyway.

Maybe he was simply suffering from involuntary head movements. Perhaps, as he rode past, he thought to himself: "Why did that jogger just nod at me? What's her game? Maybe she was simply suffering from involuntary head movements..."

I guess neither of us will ever know...

Well, with all this talk of roads and driving, anyone would think I was becoming my uncle! We can't have that, now can we?

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