Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fixing a hole

It’s been a week of random and sometimes downright odd occurrences – and random and downright odd roadworks too.
They started digging up the pavements in Weston Park a couple of days ago, having stuck in some shiny new street lamps a couple of weeks before. It’s a bit hard to work out what the plan of campaign is here: there are a couple of small notices attached to the lampposts warning anyone with a powerful enough magnifying glass to read them that the road’s going to be closed for a few days some time in July. But they’re not letting on exactly when.
What we can be sure of is that the RUH overspill car park will have to be moved somewhere else for the duration.
The weirdest thing about the whole Weston Park affair, though, is the warning sign at the eastern end of the street.
Whoever wrote it has a great and apparently undiscovered talent: stating the downright obvious. “Road Works Start Here from 06/07/09. Due to roadworks.” You can see it at if you’re of a web-browsing persuasion.
Now aside from the fact that the author of this gem is in two minds about how to spell “roadworks” and is more generous with their capital letters than the ambassador with their Ferrero Rocher, what a gem of concision and self-reference. A haiku for our times, a gnomic ripple in the pond of prolixity, a truly spectacular attempt to create order out of chaos.
Because in Weston Park, as everywhere, chaos and roadworks walk hand in hand.
More excavation news from Guinea Lane, which, as the estimable Mr Jenkins pointed out a couple of weeks ago, has been closed while the water/gas/electricity/telephone//sewage people (cross out whichever options do not apply this week) burrow once more for the Inca gold rumoured to lie below.
On the rare occasions that Guinea Lane is open to through-traffic, its surface is decorated with arcane hieroglyphics which are soon to be used as the basis for a new Dan Brown novel.
And when it’s closed, as it is right now, don’t rely on any signs in Julian Road to warn you about it. It’s much more fun to choose an alternative route right at the last minute.
In fact, what with these and all the other roadworks that seem to have sprouted up just in time for the last three weeks of the school term, you might be better off staying at home.
Apart from anything else, if you’re a Sky broadband customer it’ll give you a chance to read the small print in their latest mailshot which claims you’ll soon be getting a “new and improved” service.
New, undoubtedly. Improved? Not so sure. Especially if you’re on their “Mid” package, which has now been renamed as the far-more-catchy “Everyday”. Sky promises marginally faster speeds, but if you live any distance at all from your exchange you’ll already know that your broadband connection speed never gets close to the theoretical maximum figures in the adverts.
Plus – and here’s the rub – Sky has quietly reduced the monthly usage cap to a quarter of what it used to be, from 40Gb to 10Gb. So if you download a lot of games, videos or music, you may have to be more careful about going over your limit.
Either that, or you’ll have to brave those roadworks and get to the shops.

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