30 Day Writing Challenge – Day Thirteen
So I saw the above list on Facebook and decided it was worth giving a go. Every day for the month of April, I’ll be putting together a short blog on the chosen topic. But of course since I have a life and responsibilities, I might have written it a few days in advance and scheduled it to appear on my blog for the right day! So, with that in mind, here’s today’s blog.
“13. Your commute to and from work/school/etc.”
When I was a kid, primary school was a short walk before starting at 9. High school was a short 15 minute bus journey a full 45 minutes before we started.
No, I never did work out why we had to stand around for half an hour every morning, but yes it was often cold or wet or dark or a combination of all three.
By the time I went to university, my commute involved driving to and from Glasgow and trying to get parked in the west end. That’s was much easier back then as it was before the council expanded their parking charge zones into it, I dread to think how difficult it would be now.
But that’s all long gone in the past. My commute to work has changed a few times over the years as I’ve moved home and even my work has moved office, but even with given that both of those have been consistent for the last six years the commute itself varies from day to day.
It all depends on a number of factors. One, are the schools on holiday. If they are then great, the roads will be somewhat quieter in the morning. Apparently either there are more teachers on the roads that I give credit for, or lots of kids drive cars. I mean, it’s not as if mummy and daddy don’t have to work if diddums doesn’t need be driven to school, is it?!
Factor number two, the weather. If it’s raining, the traffic is bound to be busier than if it’s dry. I’ve never worked out why, because it’s not as if I actually see more accidents in that weather. Accidents would be factor number three of course, and can happen regardless of the weather. No, the very act of raining at all seems to snarl up the traffic more than it should.
Which is odd, because in any normal day I crawl along the motorway to work anyway. Despite the 50 and 60 mph speed limits, I very rarely get anywhere near them. If the schools are on, the motorway is clogged up as soon as I join it! If they’re not, I might get one junction closer to work but that’s about it. Only on a public holiday do I get to drive to work closer to the speed limit.
And that’s pretty crucial. Given a clear run I can get to work in a little over 20 minutes. But given a normal week day, I can easily take twice that time to get from one to the other. Throw in an accident at a crucial point and it might be so bad that a detour is the only way I can get to or from work in a sensible amount of time.
The route isn’t even that complicated. I’m pretty close to the motorway, so that’s a couple of minutes to get on at most. At the other end I work just off the motorway so it’s a couple of minutes there too. In between is where it slows down, at least going to work. Coming home it can actually take a lot longer to get onto the motorway purely because it’s the city and everyone is trying to do it.
But it’s not quite the city. My work isn’t in the centre, it’s a bit outside of it. While that means I get to park for free next to my work instead of paying the extortionate prices to park in the city centre, it does also mean that public transport just doesn’t work for me. The train takes almost half an hour to get into the centre, and I would need to walk for a good 20 minutes at both ends as well. I can park and ride at one end, but it’s still no quicker getting the train for me.
Which is a shame, as I quite like getting the train. Occasionally I do it if I need to be out of the office for a day as happens occasionally. Certainly if I need to go through to Edinburgh it’s almost always my first choice – although I’d hate to be caught up in the Queen Street works that are going on at the moment!
Of the other options, buses are no use to me. They would get stuck in the same traffic as I do driving, plus I’d still need to walk at the other end as they don’t go near my work. Cycling… yeah, I’m neither fit enough nor mad enough to attempt that! It’s a reasonable distance as well, so while it’s not impossible I’d need to be a keen cyclist to even consider it. Which I’m definitely not.
No, I’ll stick to driving until something changes. Roll on Google’s automated cars though, then I could at least read or even nap on the way to work!