Sunday, 30 November 2008

Weekend away

I travelled down to Somerset to visit a friend for the weekend. Lovely part of the world, but transport links down there are a bit variable. I didn’t quite realise that the M32 dumps you right in the middle of Bristol. At least it wasn’t difficult to get through the city and on to the A37. The A37 looks like a main road but it winds up and down through villages and the speed limit keeps changing. Then again there was plenty of mist and fog so going fast wasn’t really an option. For a while radio 3 entertained me, first with a concert from the Barbican by the BBC Symphony Orchestra of Paul Hindenmith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of themes by Carl Maria von Weber and then a programme about the Goliards, medieval musical satirists. The only problem was that I felt I should concentrate on the road and not the radio so the instrument was switched off. A sobering reminder of the importance of concentration was delivered a while later when I crawled past an accident, evidently caused by someone pulling out of a side road when there was someone approaching on the main road. Shortly after that, rising out of the mist, was the almost surreal sight of a massive pair of (probably) Lucas P100 headlamps, flanking the grille of a 1930s car. Probably an Alvis or Lagonda all I could make out were large wheels, sweeping running boards and the hood irons of the convertible roof. A car like that looks as though it belongs in the fog although I’m not sure I’d fancy being the driver. A moments contemplation on the crude heating and ventilation arrangements, not to mention - very probably - cable operated drum brakes with no servo followed.

Oh and as I drove I saw signs for both Bath and Wells. Can I be the only person who sees those two place names and thinks of Blackadder’s famous baby-eating bishop?

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