The daily Guernsey commute to work

July 7th, 2010 by Gerald

The start to the day is always slow with much tripping over each others feet as we try and find space in the kitchen to break the overnight fast. Sipping scalding tea, cold milk splashed into a bowl of cereal, toast, and marmalade and a garlic pill to encourage the heart to push blood a little faster through sleepy arteries and veins. Its summer and it is always easier at this time of the year with the sun streaming through the window and the day already well established. Even the song birds have quietened down as they go about their daily business of collecting worms to feed their young.

John Humphries on Radio 4 is talking yet again about the devastation caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and reflecting on BP’s Tony Hayward rather untactful utterance that he wants his life back. This spill seems to be a visible manifestation of the muck America chuck into the air on a daily basis so maybe the Americans should reflect on this rather than bleat about the damage to their coastline. Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP’s chairman, is talking about caring for the small people which got us all laughing as from TV pictures it seems unlikely anyone in Louisiana is under a tonne in weight.

Having wiped the mirth from our eyes it is time to travel the short distance to work and having said my goodbyes I fire up the diesel and with tappets clacking move gently into the flow of traffic, leaving the kids waving their hands over their faces at the front door as they struggle to find clean air. This is the problem with these diesel cars as whilst they are economically friendly they do pump out some pretty awful smoke from time to time.

John Humphries is now attacking an unfortunate minister about budget cuts who no doubt wishes he had stayed in bed rather than struggle to get a few words in between Humphries’s evangelical uttering’s. I have to contend with slow moving traffic and the ruddy cyclists who whiz past then slow me down as I race for the next queue. I can’t understand why that helmeted chap behind me is waving his hand in front of his nose as my exhaust fumes can’t be that bad and certainly not as bad as this revolting white van in front of me which is pumping out the most obnoxious brew of gases and black smoke. I’ll just turn the air circulation control to block incoming pollution so I can sit here without being asphyxiated although I notice those children walking to school are looking quite ashen on this beautiful fresh morning. The cyclists are now zooming away and will be wherever they are going long before I get through this jam.

At last I have arrived at work and as I park the car I reflect on the fact that it has taken me 25 minutes to travel the best part of a mile and a half and my feet would have got me here quicker. Not sure that I would like to breathe the air though as Guernsey, without any emission control, does seem to have its fair share of serious and serial polluters. Goodness there is a funny smell in this garage…..

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