Today has been an absolute nightmare, but I also think I had a lucky escape. To set the story. Yesterday I was supposed to go to the office in Farnborough and then onto our training centre in Haslemere, Normally I can do the run from Weston to Farnborough in about and hour in three-quarters and from Haslemere back to Weston in about 3 hours. Routes I take are M5/M4/A33 then back roads to Farnborough. From Haslemere it varies, but I like A3 to Petersfield, then across to the A34/A303 to Salisbury, turn right at Stonehenge and go across the plain, round the back of Longleat and then take the “Mendip Highway” avoiding Frome and Shepton Mallet to come down Burrington Coombe into Weston.
Right well I had a stomach bug and thought I don’t want to be too far from Huey so I didn’t go. Today I got up bright and early and was out of the house by 6:30 am. I had to stop for fuel and I don’t know why but I thought I’d check the tyre pressures as well. All in all I wasted about 20 minutes by the time I got a coffee to go as well. Now normally I can get from Weston to the M5/M4 Interchange in about 30 minutes. So I left the house at 6:30. At 7:00 there was a major smack on the M4 between the interchange and the M32. If I’d been on time I would probably have been stuck in the traffic which didn’t start moving again until 4:00 this afternoon with only one lane open. By the time I got there the M4 was closed to all traffic so I had a major diversion which added an hour to my journey.
Now this afternoon I set off from Haslemere to come back. What had I forgotten about, Glastonbury. Road reports were saying all major roads in Somerset were blocked with festival traffic. No problem thinks I, I’m using the Mendip Highway, so I’ll be fine. Wrong. A303 was queuing up to Stonehenge for about 6 miles. Not too bad, Salisbury plain was beautiful, flat and busy with the army but the roads were moving. Mendip Highway was great, hardly any traffic as usual till I came to the A37. I couldn’t get across it because some prat had blocked the junction with his Camper Van and Caravan and the traffic had come to a complete standstill going into Shepton Mallet. Then the blue lights started coming down the road and I though another accident. meanwhile matey with his van and caravan wasn’t going anywhere, he was completely blocking he junction, even although several of us asked him to unhitch and make a gap so we could get through. Of course by this time the lorries from the quarry just up the road are also blocked in and they ain’t too happy about it. One of the drivers comes down and in no time matey has unhitched his caravan and pulled it to one side to let me and the twenty other cars and lorries who were behind me cross the junction. It’s amazing what people will do when confronted by a big pug-ugly trucker.
Actually, he was only little and asked the guy really nicely to do it….
So all in all, I’m stressed out and have just started to settle down after a bowl of pasta and a nice glass of wine…..now where’s that bottle
- Charlton House, Shepton Mallet: hotel review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Country diary: Mendips (guardian.co.uk)