Driving on the edge

Since lockdown lifted, there are more cars on the country lanes, particularly now that staycations in the UK are being positively encouraged.

I don’t know if those of you living in rural areas have noticed but it seems many of the drivers have forgotten how to drive.

They charge through in Chelsea tractors and the ubiquitous big-arsed car, unaware of their vehicle’s width and with no concern for anyone else’s wing mirror, let alone their own.

Pinch points that in the past might have slowed down motorists who know the lanes like the backs of their hands are seen as invitations to being as reckless as you like, with no reduction in speed. I don’t think it’s just those new to the area either.

And the trouble is, the sides of the lanes are so rutted, with large agricultural vehicles and lorries too large for the route having carved out mini gorges on the edges of the tarmac, you don’t want to pull in too close to the hedge for fear of ripping your tyres to shreds.

Who’d have thought driving in the countryside could be so full of danger?

Still, at least the verges and hedges are springing forth flowers and leaves, brightening up dull days with luscious lime greens, clear whites and beautiful blues.

Last night was my first venture out into the wider world of outside dining. Sadly, the pub in Lush Places doesn’t have a big enough garden to do it safely, so we called in at a pub Mr Grigg and I used to run.

Some twenty-two years ago, we were married in the church next door, had our reception in the village hall across the road and danced in the garden to Rex Trevett’s jazz band and then listened to my folk singing uncle, the late George Withers. (I don’t remember that bit as I was too far gone. Sadly, so was the man in charge of filming the video, who recorded every verse of every hymn but missed out on capturing my uncle’s rendition of Susanna’s A Funniful Man for posterity.)

Last night, under the cover of a marquee and with Ruby at our feet, we enjoyed a delicious meal, delivered with strict adherence to Covid 19 regulations. And it felt good.

That’s about it – keep safe.

Love, Maddie x

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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