Posted in Personal life

Seeing the (Traffic) Lights

In my latest column for the Hawkesbury Parish News, I’m taken aback by the sudden appearance of the trappings of urban traffic in our quiet Cotswold village.

Traffic lights and diversion outside Debbie's house
Stopping the traffic outside my house for the last couple of weeks

“Sorry I’m late, I was held up by the traffic lights outside The Fox.”

When I first spotted them, I very nearly crashed  my car in surprise. What an epic fail that would have been. These shiny new lights looked so out of place in our village centre that they reminded me of stray cats and dogs that had wandered too far from their territory. Surely their rightful owner must be missing them?

Diggers at work on road
And then the diggers arrived – excavating the road outside my bedroom window

Using mechanical signals to communicate with each other doesn’t feel right in our village, where drivers and pedestrians frequently exchange cheery waves and shouts.

Cat scarecrow on the front wall
Our cat scarecrow, made for the village scarecrow trail last week, keeps a close eye on the workmen

“Do you KNOW those people?” a visiting friend once asked me, puzzled as to why I kept waving to passing cars on my way to the Hawkesbury Shop. His townie habits dictated that he kept his eyes averted, head down, as we walked along the road, rather than risk engaging with passers by. That struck me as sad.

My daughter Laura, on a fruitless search for water in Farm Pool
My daughter searching for water in Farm Pool

Although our traffic lights are temporary, serving a valid purpose, I for one will be glad when they’re removed. Seeing them in our High Street seems as unlikely as discovering a bus lane down Sandpits*, or a flyover above Farm Pool. Or water in Farm Pool**, come to that. No, now I’m just letting my imagination run away with me…

*The next road to ours, which narrows to a single track with passing places
**The old drovers’ pool at the far end of our village, long since dry

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like this musing about road signs:
Do Traffic Signs Drive You To Distraction?

Or this one about our motoring crisis in Belgium: 
En Panne in De Panne

Author:

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.

One thought on “Seeing the (Traffic) Lights

  1. What a wonderful article. I do hope those cats who eat the biscuits leave the birds alone. I don’t know if I would be fond of the construction people outside my window but I figure you might know them. I guess we all wish to live in a small village and that is why they are adding the lights.

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