The big problem with working all the time is you end up with very little to write about. Stories tend to require stepping outside the front door. For the last couple of weeks I have seen no more than the junk room at home, the office at work, and the route between the two on my bike.
Actually – that’s a lie. Last Sunday we trudged across the county to watch our younger daughters play rugby in the last tournament of the season. I somehow got arm-twisted into taking photos. Here’s the thing about taking photos of a rugby match your daughters are playing in – you get caught up in the game, and forget to take photos.
The experience of cycling to work varies from day-to-day. If you time your transit across town badly, you meet the army of parents driving home from school-drop off in their ridiculous “Chelsea Tractors”. If you’ve not heard the term before, it’s a nickname bestowed on 4×4 vehicles that will never see mud in their entire life – almost exclusively owned by professional families that can afford cars that cost more than my first apartment.
I gather the idea behind a “Chelsea Tractor” comes from America, where the general rule in a car accident is that as long as your car is bigger, heavier, and stronger than the other car, then you’ll be fine, and fuck whoever else was involved. This seems to count more-so when carrying a child in the back. No less than the automotive version of Tirpitz will do for some families – usually decorated with chrome wheels, and driven by a maniac trophy wife hiding behind huge shades, wearing fake workout gear from the store in town that seems to think a single pair of leggings with just the right badge is good value for $100.
This town is full of people like that.
On the outskirts of town there is a delapidated old bridge – the prototype, it turns out, for the bridge over the river Danube between Buda and Pest. Given that the bridge is really quite old now, it has a weight limit on it – 3.5 tonnes per vehicle. Sometimes the police man the bridge and stop over-weight vehicles from using it (resulting in a three or four mile round-trip). The line of Chelsea tractors pulled over by the police on those days is sometimes quite spectacular. And yes, I will admit to a certain amount of smugness as I roll past on my bike while some hapless police officer explains to an entitled Mum that no, she won’t be meeting Tabatha and Aurelia for yoga this morning unless she drives back out of town in the opposite direction.
A couple of years ago a 40 tonne truck drove over the bridge – bursting it’s tyres in the process, and closing the bridge for some months while it’s structural integrity was checked. During the first few days the bridge was closed, local residents who obviously think they can do whatever they want could regularly be seen getting out of their cars, moving the police road-block signs, and carrying on over the bridge. Some of them even put the road-block signs back behind them. This town is FULL of people like that. People that think they are a little bit more equal than everybody else – and their children are as insufferable and entitled as you might imagine.
Enough of that. It’s time to go brush my teeth, grab a book, and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day. Another day filled with programming, cursing, headbutting my desk, and wondering how long a suitcase full of marmalade sandwiches might last if I ran away.