The long and winding road

This weekend K. and I (plus a storage box hin of someone else’s belongings, then zurück of K’s) made our longest car journey so far: from Witney to Cardiff and back. We decided to use entirely A roads or smaller, to avoid the comparatively hectic Ms 4 and 5. Only just, though: for reasons which I appreciate road planners tend to pull you, at some times more strongly than at others, towards the widest, fastest roads, just to get you out of wherever it is that you are. But although there’s a lot of traffic that would do well to stick to the motorways, I’d like to think that we’re in a sufficiently high percentile, on some mildly self-righteous scale I’ve yet to take the time to devise, that we’d not be begrudged the roads we took.

The A48 from Gloucester to Cardiff is particularly beautiful, if constructed entirely from corners. The road skirts the Wye Valley and hugs much of the Severn, and it’s worth avoiding the M5 just for the White Hart in Newnham-on-Severn, the conceit of which is that it has a small lighthouse, mounted on what looks like the back few metres of a small boat (plus propeller) facing towards the river as part of a façade which itself mimics the whole of one side of some sort of passenger liner. I hope that my advertisement here earns forgiveness from the landlord, who caught K. sneaking a toilet break without buying a drink, on the way back just now. Anyway, we bought nuts there when we first drove past on Friday: what more does he want?

I don’t think we’ll ever drive habitually, though: last week I was itching to use the car, but a couple of hundred miles in it have purged my system entirely of the toxin of novelty. And at least this weekend’s journey involved essential wedding planning, the transport of around a human body’s weight of goods and a shopping trip, so it wasn’t as wasteful as one man in a car. But owning Hrududu will certainly effect a quiet revolution in, say, our attitudes towards the upcoming weeks leading up to the wedding. It’s astonishing to think that a journey that frequently took us around five hours door to door can now take us less than three. Just over two, if I don’t get lost in Lisvane and then Newport next time.

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