Something is amiss in Bristol.
And I need your help to understand it.
Today, on one of my much too-infrequent runs, no cars pulled out blind across the pavement in front of me and into a busy road.
Pedestrians walking several abreast taking up the entire width of the pavement stepped aside so as not to force approaching runners and other pedestrians into a busy road.
Cyclists who had stopped and moved their bikes out of the otherwise empty cycle lane to discuss the route they should actually be taking realised they were blocking the pavement for runners and other pedestrians and moved back into the otherwise empty cycle lane.
This one you really won’t believe.
Cars exiting roundabouts used their indicators to let runners and other pedestrians know that, yes, they were going to take the exit you were about to cross.
Something here is not right.
I do not know what is going on.
The privatisation of public utilities and services in Britain has been a disaster for everyone apart from those given carte blanche to loot the public purse. Oligopolistic consolidation. Unemployment annd precarity. Taxes paid more or less directly to shareholders as dividends. The undermining of democracy. The ‘greed is good’ excesses of the 1980s, the TINA lies of the 1990s, the austerity bullshit of the new millennium. The preening arrogance of the corporate elites and their political lackeys. No scandal seems to have the power to even shock any more, let alone lead to criminal investigation or – can you still even imagine? – jail time.
That might be about to change.
In Bristol, evidence has been found of the most profound malfeasance, the crossing of a boundary that we can all surely agree is a step too far.
The cloning of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Is there not something sinister in their fixed grins that speaks of our age?
The mandated performance of individuality.
Into their eyes.
Behold the Abyss staring back.
During the Triassic period, the parts of Pangaea which now constitute Britain drifted from the equator to more or less its current location. But with the break-up of the prehistoric supercontinent, ‘Britain’, which had spent much of the Permian underwater, dropped below sea-level once more. And although that is where it spent most of the Jurassic and Cretaceous, there were periods when the land was above sea-level, some of which lasted for as many as twenty million years.
And during those dry years, dinosaurs walked the land. Not just any dinosaurs – but, as recent fossil evidence reveals, robot dinosaurs!
…even just glimpsed through the grey clouds over Bristol and through telegraph wires is a timeless reminder of the majesty of the universe…of how very small we are in the face of it all…
…and of how I must really get round to cleaning those windows.
On Sunday 15th March, I broke free from the drudgery of documentation and marking that was stealing my weekend in order to enjoy the liberty of a port city…