Walking through Nottingham the other day I tried really hard not to get run down.
The road system, like all cities, is a bit chaotic to someone who needs a recognisable system.
Cars ought to travel on the left.
You should be able to look right or left and know where to expect cars to come from.
This is what you’ve grown up with.
This is how it happens down your roads at home.
But there you are, standing at the kerb
(Sometimes no kerb, which is really confusing)
(Sometimes a kerb you fall over because you can’t “see” it)
A road splits two or three ways, little refuge island in the middle…
Traffic lights to watch
Lanes filter at different times
Cars going the same direction, one lane moving, one not
Cars, buses, lorries, trams…
It really does not make sense.
If you stand and observe for long enough you may work out the sequence.
You might just get it.
I usually do.
But one day I won’t.
You have two choices.
Look left, look right, look left, up at the lights, back at the traffic
It shows red but there’s nothing coming
Or is there?
Have you looked the right way?
Look both ways again.
Damn, the red has gone to green.
So who is coming from where now?
Which way is the traffic coming on this single track?
If you are “sensible” you settle to wait for a pedestrian crossing light to cross
Which of course is the right thing to do.
Assuming there are traffic lights.
You look all round
You try to work out the direction to expect traffic
You see none.
You hear none.
You look around for someone else to follow across
(Surely they can’t have dementia as well)
And you go for it.
Well I am still here to tell the tale.
But if you see me standing at a roadside
And you think
Why on earth hasn’t he crossed?
Come up to me and ask if I need any help
And walk across with me.
It might be one of those days when things don’t make sense.
And thank you