Naturally, a year ago I was commuting to Cheltenham every day (more or less) at rush hour (more or less) and I have less than fond memories of spending best part of an hour schlepping the ten miles between Gloucester and Cheltenham only to find the car two milliseconds ahead of me was taking the last parking space. A couple of days ago, though, I again had to drive to Cheltenham at a similar time of day. The night before and into the morning we had some quite significant rainfall and, as a result, the local radio traffic news reported that Shurdington Road (my preferred route) was covered in standing water, stacked with traffic and passable "with care".
It's times like this when one has to bite the bullet and make a carefully considered decision. Or at least a wild guess. Which way to go? If you are local, you will remember when Gloucester imitated Atlantis for a week or so a couple of years back. In fact, if you live in the area, you won't forget it because it is probably still the most discussed topic in the local rag. It is to the Gloucester Citizen what immigrants are to the Daily Mail or Royal conspiracies to the Daily Express. It is easy lazy journalism. It brings to mind a discussion I had with an eminent resident of Gloucester some time ago that went along the lines of:
Me "Yes, I saw that story in Citzen" (sorry, don't remember the story in question)
Him "Indeed, finally a real story."
Him (continuing: "In fact the last few days the paper hasn't been too bad" [pause for effect] "I think the editor may be on holiday.
I digress. The point is, I had images of Shurdington Road looking like it did on that day. More reminiscent of a river than a road. But, I decided that maybe people would heed the warning and stay away. It was in fact, possibly the quickest weekday journey I have ever made to Cheltenham. There was no traffic and the "standing water" had obviously cleared away remarkably quickly - there was barely a puddle. My brake pedal was as redundant as I became that day 12 months ago.