Sunday, March 26, 2006

Spring just sprung

What a difference a day makes.

Or what a difference a change in weather patterns and putting the clocks one hour forward makes.

A few days ago we were all shivering through overnight frosts and occasional snow flurries, this at the end of March still! Today there's a mild wind, the sun's out, the birds are in full song and the spring bloom has arrived en-masse. I even looked out the window to see two frisky pigeons going at in a flurry of feathers. Yikes.

It's amazing what the arrival of Spring, however delayed, does to people's moods also. Immediately you notice the change walking around any or our towns and cities, and I'm not just talking about the shedding of the layers either.

Buoyed by the change in atmosphere outside I spent most of the day tinkering with my car out on the drive. Now I'm not the most mechanically minded person in the world but you'd be surprised what you can do with a bit of patience and a Haynes manual.

Lighter evenings should mean you can go out for a walk after tea as well. Although if the local authorities have their way that isn't going to be the case. A major gas pipeline is being installed a few miles south of the village. Essentially trenches are being dug cross-country before they lay and seal a 2m circumference pipe sections. Apparently this footpath closure is going to be in force for six months. The local council has seen fit to close rights-of-way (paths and tracks) for almost a mile-and-a-half in either direction.

That's just plain daft.

We had another similar massive pipeline built near here a few years back and that didn't cause half the disruption this one seems to be. It took a matter of weeks. Not six bloody months!

Maybe it's all the ambulance-chasers the council is scared of.

"Have you been injured in a trip or fall recently?"

"Er, yeah, I wandered blindly into a 2m trench the other day because I didn't happen to see the machinery, mounds and gangs of workmen digging away as I approached."

As if.

Villagers aren't stupid (though, yes, we do still have our resident idiots). We see the works going on every day. We know what it entails, and we know where & when to steer well clear. But we also walk these paths daily, and that's part of the reason we love living here. Take that away and we might as well all sell our souls and decamp to the towns. To throw a mile-square cordon around the area is unbelievable; at a stroke that cuts off access to most rights-of-way south of the village. I can think of a dozen different places they could have put up a cordon and still kept their site sealed with a comfortable enough buffer zone.

Anyway, bugger the closure. Most walkers I've spoken to are just going to walk the paths until they make it physically impossible to do so.


Sign, you say?

What sign?

I didn't see one.

Did you?

No comments: