Sunday, 6 February 2011

Dumfries - The Metropolis!

I am coming to the conclusion that I no longer live in the country side. This part of Scotland is quick becoming a metropolis and 5:30 is rush hour no matter what day of the week.

This week I drove from one side of the region to the other at 5:30ish. Another day I drove home from a training session, about an hour’s drive from the west to central D&G around about 5-6o’clock. Friday evening I drove from Dumfries to Carlisle for climbing from 5:15 to 6:30 and yesterday I made a measly 13 mile drive from Dumfries to Lockerbie at...yes, you’ve guessed it 5:30. All of these drives I found the traffic nose to tail, both directions. Yesterday’s drive was particularly frustrating as I had become rather desperate on the toilet and yet I could not get round the cars in front (annoyingly doing 40mph in drizzle) because there were so many cars coming in the opposite direction. A journey that usually takes 15-20 minutes took more like 40!

Red and white snake eyes in both directions. As I sighed and resolved myself to the slow drive home for the fourth day in a row, I concluded that with regard to the driving I do, I am in no better position now than I had been 18 years ago when I drove the A2 and M25 to work. Ok, I admit the M25 is still pretty ugly, and utterly awful compared to the delights of the A75 here in the west of Scotland. But when it’s dark and rainy and you just want to get where you are going, it’s then that you realise, it doesn’t matter where you are, if its busy, it just plain busy! This place is getting busier!

5:30 is not a good time to be travelling. Period.

When it’s not dark, I love driving around this region. People comment to me a lot about the mileage I clock up either for work or zooming off here and there to visit and explore. Sometimes people will ask if I get fed up driving so much and I always reflect back at them, How could I? The scenery is beautiful, undulating hills and lush green farm land, speckled with trees and the odd stunning Loch. Then the further west you get the more you kiss up against the coast line with the crashing waves against ancient rocks and long Solway sands. I see large birds of prey, deer’s, thunder cracking loud fighter jets flipping and whizzing around the skies. And most of all while covering 70 odd miles I actually travel! I’m not crawling down a jam packed motor way or sitting in town centre jams. I’m flying through the countryside racing the world around me and soaking up the sights. It’s a wonderful way to travel. Music up, travel mug of tea and the ever changing world outside to keep you alert.

But like I say, recently I have noticed the increasing traffic on the roads ( they are in my way) and the amount of nervous drivers out there (holding everyone up by driving really slowly.) I think times are a changing and soon this part of the world will not be such a quiet place to be. And then I’ll have to move somewhere else!

But where?

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