Little to say for myself

Monday, March 15, 2004

Neither Here nor There (updated)

I followed my normal route to work this morning, and I saw something that struck me as ridiculous. I'd seen it hundreds of times, but not really seen it.

I may have been in a tetchy mood because I'd just been pulled over by a policeman for jumping a contra-flow red light at some roadworks - you know the kind of thing: where both lights stay on red long enough to allow for an old dear on a bicycle to wobble through the 300 yards of cones. The light had changed to red just before the car in front went through, and I lazily followed it. Imagine my delight when I (only then) noticed the markings on the car behind me. I managed to bite my lip and act all humble and apologetic, even though I was bursting to say indignantly "well you followed me through", and he let me off with a warning. Apparently, they carry the same penalties as every other type of traffic light (3 points and 60 quid), so be warned....

Aaaanyway. A few miles further on, I crossed the line from Cambridgeshire into Bedfordshire, and noticed this roadsign:

Come again? The best thing they could think of, to tell you what a wonderful world you were entering, was that it was half-way between two interesting places (which are about 80 miles apart). What's more (to further qualify this prestigious alignment), it's only half-way between them so long as you don't actually draw a straight line, but instead draw an "arc". Presumably they mean an arc centred on London (since they're all about 50-60 miles from London).

It's not as if there is such a thing as the Oxford Cambridge Arc (apart, obviously, from in the minds of council PR departments). There's no major road linking the two cities (well, not one that passes through Bedfordshire anyway), and I can't imagine there being much traffic between them apart from tourist coaches. The snobbery between the cities sees to that.

In other words, the sign should more accurately read like this:

That should put it on the map.

posted by Plig | 22:15 |

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Forget the crusading notion that any nation, however virtuous and powerful, can have the mission to make the world in its own image.
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