Jan 11th – Prepared for Battle, she made her presence known.

January 11th – Prepared for battle, she made her presence known.

13.53-14.03

The train to Hastings was uneventful.

She read the newspaper, checked a couple of things online, read her emails (4) and replied (2) and then read the message again. This was the first time she had ever done anything like this, and already the anticipation was causing a couple of nerves to flutter.

‘You’ll be fine.’

She’d said this to herself, silently, over and over on the train from Victoria. And she would be fine. After all, how hard could it be. She knew what she was doing, she was as prepared as she could be, and this wasn’t the hardest place to start what could be, if she got it right, a new beginning. And new beginnings are good. They had to be.

She checked her makeup as the train drew into the station. She knew she had a little under half an hour between trains: enough time to get a coffee on the opposite platform and go through her notes again. It didn’t matter that this was her first group session: it was just the same as all the one-to-ones she’d done across the south east. And the feedback had been good, positive, full of praise for her easy manner, the way she put people at ease. This was why she was here.

The coffee was unspectacular, but adequate. She re-read the briefing notes again, preparing herself for who to expect. Her next train was a couple of minutes late, but she would still be there in plenty of time, enough time to make sure she was exactly ready to give them what she wanted.

The walk from the station was fine. She was as ready as she was going to be.

They would pay her upfront: that was the one thing that she needed to make sure of, to get the transaction over and done with before she started on the group. Prepared for Battle, she made her presence known. They were exactly where they said they were going to be, with the money ready and with eager faces.

“Good morning. We’re standing outside Battle Abbey, one of the most famous buildings in England. In 1070, William the Conqueror vowed to build an abbey where the Battle of Hastings had taken place, with the high altar of its church on the supposed spot where King Harold fell in that battle on Saturday, 14 October 1066. William started building it, dedicating it to St. Martin, sometimes known as “the Apostle of the Gauls,” but died before it was completed. Its church was finished in about 1094 and consecrated during the reign of his son William known as Rufus.”

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

Path – Dead Deer

Path

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you today to express my concern, even bewilderment, about the latest instalment of the active transport infrastructure which ostensibly links the Braithwaite Estate with the City Centre.

Whilst I am delighted, of course, that safe and segregated options are finally being provided to allow individuals the genuine choice of not using their car, I do wonder who exactly this path is aimed at, and who in their right mind would actually use it.

As the crow flies the Estate is 3.2 miles from the City Centre, following the dual carriageway by car it is 3.8 miles. Whereupon all this traffic is delivered onto the old narrow streets causing the obvious and all too familiar traffic flow issues. Such a short journey ought to be easily undertaken by bicycle or even on foot, which has myriad advantages for both society and the individual. Traffic could be reduced, and along with it pollution. Active transport has shown to be incredibly effective for health issues, and of course both travel time (honestly; take out the waiting in queues and searching for a parking spot it is considerably quicker by bike) and the extraordinarily low cost, compared to motor transport, it is hugely beneficial, especially for those on lower incomes.

However. I notice immediately that where self-powered vehicles have a wide and direct route to the centre, those under their own steam have this new route. It actually starts by going the wrong way out to the Swallow Woods, where it takes a winding and long-winded curving route back towards the city. Then it must cross and re-cross the road, adding long diversions and unnecessary waiting times. In short (would that it were) the route is an extraordinary 5.6 miles.

AND on top of that it delivers the rider, not safely to the centre, but onto the horrifically dangerous Birkbeck roundabout. How was any of this planned? Was it planned?! A beautiful stone path through lovely woods it may be, but it leads nowhere, and leads me to question your genuine competence and / or motives. Again. I expect very soon to find letters in the local papers about how no one uses these “expensive” bike-ways. Little surprise when they have clearly been designed with the need to tick a box in mind rather than any real attempt to provide the environment for real modal change.

Yours faithfully,

Lindsay B. Trottermeier

Chair, GfCC

Today I wrote from 12:47 to 12:57. I was prompted by idea “The stone path through the woods lead her nowherehere. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here