Posted in Family, Travel

Running to Stand Still

Rush Hour traffic on the DVP.
Image by Aubrey Arenas via Flickr

Tonight we drive home from Grandma’s house, hitting the M4 motorway at about 7pm.  It is surprisingly empty for this time of year.  Secure in the child seat behind me, Laura has finished the bag of Butterkist she was given for the journey and is starting to wonder “Are we nearly there yet?”

“About half way,” I tell her, wondering why she really needs to ask.  Laura’s done this journey literally hundreds of times. As she was born in Southmead Hospital, just a couple of miles from my mum’s house, this was the route of the first car journey she ever made.  I remember passing through the hospital gates in my husband’s car the day we were discharged, tears of joy streaming down my face, tempered with incredulity that I was expected to know how to look after a baby so soon after the birth.   On that journey home, we played the CD that had been the soundtrack for her delivery by Caesarean – “Songs from the Auvergne”.  No wonder there wasn’t a dry eye in the car.

“Just how long is it from Grandma’s house to ours?” she asks me now.

“Usually just half an hour, darling,” I reply.  “Unless we’re driving through the rush hour.”

“Oh,” she says without a pause, “so I expect in the rush hour it would be just 15 minutes.”

Many thousands of Bristol-bound commuters must wish that was the case.


Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

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