With Time On My Side…

I found myself with some time to kill this morning, owing to the fact that the boys next door are lazy lay-in-beds who’d asked me to take them to the gym, but failed to get out of bed by the time I was standing battering the front door. You’d never catch me behaving like that. Anyway, as a result I was at a loose end, with half an hour before I was due at work. This falls into the category of Extremely Unusual.

I went for a wee wander around the Grove Road Spar. This was a bad idea on two counts: 1 – I spent money I can’t really afford to be spending, and 2 – I emerged with a warm sausage roll and some ‘evil digestives’, as McBouncy calls them.

I ate the warm sausage roll. It was very bad, but very, very good.

I went back on my way, still with plenty of time to spare. Then I realised that the Cullybackey Road was closed due to an accident. When I say “I realised”, what I actually mean is I nearly crashed into a small warning signal thingy (completely inconspicuous and practically invisible in the near-darkness), spotted the more distant “POLICE – ACCIDENT” sign, panicked, braked, and turned left at about 40mph, almost colliding with an oncoming taxi because, to be fair, I was on his side of the road at the time. I continued along the road, issuing a few prayers as I went, and calmed down sufficiently to make my second realisation, i.e. that I had never been on this road before and hadn’t the faintest idea where it led to, so I should probably have turned right instead of left. Drat.

I made a 17-point turn and headed back. Managed to get myself on to the Old Cullybackey Road, along with the rest of the diverted rush hour traffic. The train signal man/machine chose that moment to close the barriers, blocking the road so that the train could cross. Which it did. 10 minutes later. Made it to Cullybackey several light years later, and found myself in the very epicentre of Bedlam. Approaching Pottinger Street, I paused to let one car out, as is my custom (for I used to live there and recall the frustration of trying to get out in the mornings). The guy behind me blared his horn angrily. I tried to glare at him by means of the rearview mirror, quite unsuccessfully. Then I moved on, and to my indignation noticed the guy in the next car waiting to emerge from Pottinger Street giving me the fingers! Honestly. Condemnation from all directions.

To top it all off, there was a sincerely crap song playing on the radio as all this was going on, seeming to consist of depressed wailing like “I hate how much I love you, I can’t stand how much I need you, I hate that I love you sooooooo….”. There was a short, disbelieving pause at the end of the “song”. Then Terry Wogan piped up in his dryest tones. “Oh, for goodness sake!” he said in disgust. “I’m about to burst into uncontrollable tears.” He cut to the news, and I started to laugh.

Good Oul’ Terry. The oldies are the best, y’know.


3 thoughts on “With Time On My Side…

  1. It truly is a nightmare. I can’t shake the suspicion that the street was built for the occasional horse and cart, and not for enough traffic to warrant a dual carriageway.

  2. Your suspicion is correct for carts and their attendant horses is what Cully was all about back in the day. Even the A26 between Antrim and Ballymena was a cattle track little more than a century ago. In those days the main route from Antrim to Ballymena was through Kells.

    I’ve going visiting old folks tonight and I expect to be talking to an old gentleman who, as a young teenager, used to drive cattle on foot on the A26 into Ballymena Market. Five miles there and five back. Imagine doing that today!

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