It’s a funny old world innit?
Where I live there is a Roundabout. It is a big Roundabout, a really really big Roundabout, and at peak traffic times it does get busy, but never beyond the realms of manageability, for within thirty minutes of the peak traffic period it is once again running smoothly without barely a hitch.
But this piece of prose is not about Traffic, at least not directly, it’s about habitat.
You see, in the middle of this Roundabout there was a whole bionetwork of dense woodland, it had rabbits, birds, foxes, and a wide variety of trees; in fact the Roundabout was basically a Jungle Island surrounded by a sea of tarmac and it supported a unique and separate world that was [because of the busy road encircling the Roundabout] by and large a protected self sustaining eco-system.
I would often circle this island and when sitting waiting for the lights to change I would attempt to look into the deep heart of the forest and wonder at the diversity of life that daily went on in there unseen by our human eyes and untouched by our human hands. You get the idea that it was a dense woodland right?
Now don’t get me wrong it was only about 100 meters across this island paradise, but it was the untouched by human hand part that always appealed to me. It was – despite its location and the fumes from the vehicles, pristine.
The other day I was driving down there and the forest was gone... All that remained was a barren and desolate landscape of nothingness, with barely a tree stump left in place to remind us of what once was...
Meanwhile surrounding this Roundabout there was now signs proclaiming new road works and improvements to the road network blah blah blah, and I thought to myself - as I looked about me at the traffic lights - ‘Where are all the workmen who are supposedly working on these New Road Improvements?’ because try as I might all I could see was cones and a few portable signs and nothing else.
You know ‘Life’ is funny at times [funny peculiar that is] Today I was escorting a friend who suffers from a disability to a meeting in our local library to meet with an occupational therapist/nurse [whatever the hell that is] to assess her for the renewal of her Disabled Blue Badge Parking thingamajig – because with this Tory Government in power Local Libraries’ is where you go to attend medicals for such things and not the local hospital, but I digress...
Anyway, as blind luck would have it what do you think I saw in the Local Library as I sat waiting with her for her appointment?
Go on have a guess...
That’s right; I saw a group from the Highways Commission, with many important looking men in important dark suits standing around talking importantly to Local People who came into the Local Library to read books or attend Medicals, and showing them all a detailed presentation on 6 to 8 stands, just what they were planning on doing at the Local Roundabout where they had already decimated the Local Flora and Fauna.
Now you are thinking ‘He Used the word Local a lot there didn’t he?’ And your right I did, but it was for a reason which will become apparent in a moment.
Now one of the very first things one of the Local People said to me as I sat there waiting for my friends Medical Appointment in the Local Library was – “What a waste of effing money that is, why don’t they use the money to help people”? This remark came from a [and I kid you not here] one of the grey haired Local Librarians who lives Locally. “It’s a bloody disgrace” she said; “We have homeless people, O.A.P’s facing a cold winter and they are spending money on that” she went on contemptuously “I go through there every day at peak times and quiet times and it’s not a problem, why are they doing it”?
I nodded to her my agreement and thought to myself ‘you know what I am going to find out’. The following is the conversation I had with one of the many important people from the highways commission stood milling about importantly in their important suits.
Me - “Hi there sir, mind me asking you a question or two”?
Suit - “Certainly”.
Me – “Thank you; Can I ask you – What are you doing down there exactly and why”?
Suit – “We are improving the Road Network there because it gets too busy at peak traffic times”.
Me – “Eh?”
Suit – “The Roundabout gets too congested”.
Me – “No it isn’t, I go through there regular as clockwork and it runs fine”.
Suit – “It is running beyond its capacity”.
Me – “May I ask – how much is this costing”?
Suit – “Ten Million pounds”.
Me – “10 million Pounds”?
Suit – “Yes, £10,000,000 - or thereabouts”.
Me – “Or thereabouts”?
Suit – “Yes”.
Me – “But the Roundabout works fine, it gets busy sure, but it works fine”
Suit – “Well that is what I am told”.
I looked him up and down in his dark suit and looked at his other colleagues’ stood next to him looking uncomfortable at my questions...
Me – “So you don’t actually know then”?
Suit – “Well i am not local so I have not actually been through there myself so can’t say firsthand”.
Me – “uh?”
Suit – “It’s what I’m told”.
At which point realising I was talking to an automaton that had no Local Knowledge I went back to my disabled friend who was ‘A Local’ - sat down on our Localised seats in our Local Library to await her Medical... Because after all - a Local Library is where you have to go to get a Medical and information about the waste of Local Tax Payers Money all done by people who are not ‘Locals’.
Funny old world innit?