That’s it, summer is well and truly over. The young have returned to school and parents are variously heaving sighs of relief or fretting about those youngsters starting new scholastic adventures.
I no longer have children of school age and my grandchildren have a way to go before they join the throng of students. Even so, I am perfectly well aware that the school term has begun because the roads are a nightmare.
The five mile drive to work has taken me around ten minutes, every day for the past six weeks. Rush hour has been a misnomer…it has been more of a gentle meander on roads that were a pleasure to drive. Today it took half an hour and was a very different story.
Thirty minutes may not be bad in terms of a commute, but nose to tail traffic crawling at snail’s pace for miles makes it unpleasant. Unless we have a town full of car-owning seventeen year olds starting school this week, I don’t think we can blame the children. Nor can they all be parents on the school run, as the majority of cars held only their driver and it was too early for children to have been dropped off already.
Bearing in mind that I pass bus-loads of youngsters and a hundred or so of them walking to school every day, I am at a loss to know where all these extra cars have come from. It is a mystery that bugs me every time the schools reopen after a holiday. Few parents get a six week holiday to coincide with that of their children, so who on earth are they…where have they all been for the summer… and why did they all come out to play at half past seven this morning?
Though, it must be said, that there is no playing on the roads…driving has suddenly become a very serious business again. Throughout the school holidays, courtesy could be observed…with drivers giving way to each other, leaving space between cars, even driving at sensible speeds! This morning? Mayhem.
It is one of those seemingly unanswerable mysteries. Like where do the flies come from is a hermetically sealed room? Or spiders that apparently do not exist when you go round the house with the hoover and the feather duster. Yet as soon as you snuggle beneath the duvet, an eight-legged Godzilla will materialise on the ceiling above the bed.
Some things will always remain mysteries. In general terms, I am quite glad about that. I like to know there are unanswered questions to ponder, just as much as I love the sense of wonder at a universe whose secrets remain beyond our understanding. September traffic is right up there with the Bermuda Triangle or the mouse in the washing machine* as far as I am concerned.
*That’s a whole other story….