There was once such a thing as a free ride

Wednesday 27 September 2006

I was going to post about something of substance besides The Vivisector (which I’m falling behind on the reading schedule – hey, it’s not like I’ve been crazy about it) but my household has suffered a tragic loss.
There is a website based somewhere in Europe that offers one of those route planning service to motorists, and just like the UK based ones (Dear AA, please stop telling everyone that every single journey in Scotland must at some point involve taking a ferry to Bute) it tends to be pretty useless. For the past month or so it’s been telling unsuspecting truckies from the continent that the best way into central London from the docks is via a side street next to The Bunker: a very narrow street, lined with parked cars, before taking a tight turn under a railway bridge with a clearance of about 3 metres.
From time to time one could amuse oneself looking out the window, watching a 16-wheeled semi-trailer inching up this street, and taking bets on far it would get before it realised that there was no way it was getting under that bridge up ahead and then having to reverse all the way back again.
As of now, this is no longer funny. My girlfriend’s beloved secondhand Fiat with the overheating problem has been sideswiped by one of these foreign juggernauts while blamelessly parked in said side street. The poor heap has been written off, so no more getting chauffered around the UK for me. I’ve been trying to persuade her to buy another car, preferably one with more leg room in the back, but she’s oddly resistant to the idea.