Subscribe: Subscribe to me on YouTube

Sunday, November 07, 2004

NaNoWriMo Day: 7
Words Written: 11,872
Words Remaining:

Week one of NaNoWriMo is at an end, and if you think I'm probably sick of it by now, you'd be right. But worry not, I have diverting local news to clear the creative palate and allow me to start afresh on Monday morning (hopefully with fewer references to giant hippos roaming the Aero Plains)...

Ok. Well as mentioned here before, there are currently proposals being made for a new Haylink housing development in Shotley Gate, causing consternation amongst local residents, most of whom are busy trying to extend their back gardens so they can flog their houses to rich Londoners. But I digress. The latest exciting news on this subject is that the results of a traffic survey on the B1456 have now been published, in an attempt to prove the detrimental effect of the development on the "area of outstanding natural beauty we live in". And what's more, they're referring to Woolverstone there. I know, I couldn't believe it either.

The survey has been carried out by BBC newsman and part-time scarecrow maker, Laurie Mayer, who is chairman of the Woolverstone Residents Association. Here's a gratuitous picture of Laurie in his slippers:

Nice slippers.

No, it's not a picture of Adolf Hitler and Tim Brooke-Taylor enjoying a picnic together, though I can see why you might think that.

Anyhoo, Laurie has limited himself to just one use of the phrase "imagine the terror" (I wish I was making that up, but I'm not), and claims that if the 325 new houses are built, there could be an extra 3,429 vehicle trips being made past his house every day. Though quite how each new household is supposed to manage more than ten trips through Woolverstone per day, I've no idea. I expect they'll have to draw up some kind of rota.

Laurie (whose name unfortunately sounds like a big truck) says, "Try having a conversation with one of us in the front garden of any of the cottages along the main road. Noise levels already make this difficult."

No, it's the electric fences which make that difficult, and the knowledge that most of the residents own shotguns.* But thanks for the offer all the same.

Fortunately for Laurie, I'm here to set his mind at rest, for I happen to know that his projections ("imagine the terror") are fundamentally flawed. The Woolverstone statistics are based on the number of cars which passed at a given time on October 8th, and they're taking this as typical of an average day. Well it just so happens that I was passing at the specified time, on my way to Brighton, and my car has been included in the official figures. I even waved to Laurie as I passed. Well ok, I didn't. But I did admire his slippers.

The fact is that my trips to Brighton are not daily occurrences (thank god), so Laurie and the rest of the Woolverstone Residents Association can sleep easy in their beds - the situation ("imagine the terror") is not as bad as they feared.

*not strictly true, but it sounds good.