One Less Car
I’m ashamed to admit that I drove into Whitley Bay today on an errand. That’s about 0.8 miles each way. Sorry.
My excuse was that it was absolutely p!$hing down, and I’d just had enough of getting soaked - soaked last night on the Tandem, soaked this morning when I ran to the shop to get milk (200 yards each way . . . and a change of clothes. A smarter person than me would probably have thought about waterproofs), soaked right through my waterproofs when walking Huge Dalmatian (who was uncharacteristically reticent about going out . . . ), and soaked in a couple of dashes across to Alan & Shana’s garage that I used today to strip down the tandem in preparation for re-painting.
Basically we’ve had a month’s worth of rain in around 22 hours. And September’s usually one of the wetter months here.
So I drove.
Of course, one of the features of a warmer world is more concentrated, torrential rain for the UK. So I was driving to avoid the consequences of this, while contributing further to it. The irony of the situation was of course not lost on me. Sometimes it’s just too hard to do the right thing.
ANYWAY . . . While in Whitley Bay, I did see something to bring a smile to my face. You get a prize if you can see what’s unusual about this photo. I’ll give you a clue, by way of a couple of things you can rule out:
- There’s hardly any traffic, even though it was a Saturday afternoon.
- The image quality is as good as it gets with my phone.
- Nope, it’s not the policeman escorting someone across the road either . . . though you’re getting warmer (hint!)
How did you do? Could you figure out what the problem was with the scene? How about this:
Yep - now there’s something you don’t see every day (unless you’re lucky enough to live in Walker) - it’s a car on fire.
I’m not entirely sure what had happened to this poor little Renault 5 - it was stopped about one car’s length back from the lights with the bonnet (hood) open, no sign of the owner, and most eerily, the engine still running. It was a bit like the militant wing of veloculture’s version of the Mary Celeste.
The police kept everyone well back, and I stood for a while, mingling with the crowds who’d decided that this looked much more entertaining than shopping in Whitley Bay on a wet, wet, wet Saturday afternoon. Most of them were either taking photos with their phones, or calling their friends (variations of , “There’s a car on fire”, “We can’t get to the next pub, ‘cos there’s a car on fire”, or “Aye, mine’s a pint. And there’s a car on fire”). It was then that I realised I’m far too aloof to just stand and watch this sort of spectacle, and I had a tandem to finish stripping. Besides, one of the front tyres was starting to burn, and although the police had set up a perimeter, in the absence of any fire brigade to actually deal with the situation, I didn’t want to be anywhere near that baby when one of the tyres / petrol tank finaly went bang.