Traffic Jam Survival tips

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Yesterday I had the unfortunate luck to be stuck on the M25 for the best part of four hours because they had closed the road ahead due to an accident.  At first, not knowing how long I would be there, I sat back and relaxed, listened to my radio and sent an update to Facebook from my Blackberry.  Thank goodness for smart phones, I thought.

I enjoyed the music that was on the radio and, after a little while of sitting still, I decided to practise my dance moves.  Obviously, it wasn’t possible to do the full routine, not in the car, but I did spend a happy ten minutes shimmying my shoulders and boobs along to the music.  I got some looks but I didn’t mind as I was sure we’d all be on the move again soon.

Two hours later we had hardly moved and I had the same ‘neighbours’ as I had when I was shimmying.  I was tempted to have a go at nipple tassel twirling but a)I haven’t done that class yet and b) I didn’t have any nipple tassels.  So I abandoned that idea.

I started to get bored.  My lunch was in the boot.  I didn’t want to get out of the car and walk round to get it as the traffic kept moving a bit, in between standing still.  I ached from sitting down.  I ran out of things to post to Facebook.   I needed a cup of tea.  I needed a wee. I saw men getting out of their cars and going to the side of the road to relieve themselves.  That didn’t help my mood, although I did think of getting out myself as time went by.  I managed to hang on though.  I knew those pelvic floor exercises would come in handy one day.

It struck me that I should put together a ‘motorway survival kit’, specially for times like this.

Alongside the torch, blanket, spade and bottle of water you should have with you at all times, I decided that I should assemble a special little kit just for those times when I am stuck on the motorway, bored shitless with nobody to talk to.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I had company. I was stuck once before on the same road with a male colleague and we played Strip Eye-Spy to pass the time. That was fun…. (luckily we started moving before I had even got to my cardigan).

Anyway, in my kit I thought I would pack:

Tweezers. Not just for tidying the eyebrows.  There are always facial whiskers to remove. It is my main hobby in life these days.

Nail varnish.  May as well paint my nails while I’m waiting.  I never seem to have time for them to dry normally.  Sat in the car, there isn’t a lot else to do….in fact, a whole manicure kit, why not?  Cuticle oil, file, false nails…yes, that would pass the time nicely.

My personal lap top.  Could have written this blog whilst waiting in the traffic, couldn’t I?

Chocolate.  Obviously.

Embroidery, needlework and knitting that I never have time to finish.

Sketch book and camera for those ‘opportunities’.

A sleeping bag, inflatable bed and tent, just in case I need a lie down.

And a bottle of wine. (Ok. That was a joke).

Might have to get a bigger car…..

It has been suggested that I get a ‘SheWee’ for the car, the portable ‘appliance’ for ladies on the move.  Hmm. I’m not sure.  If the lorry drivers were interested in my shimmies, they’d sure as hell be FASCINATED by my SheWee….I think I’ll just keep doing my exercises.

However, I do think I may have identified a gap in the Portaloo market.  How about having someone drive up the hard shoulder with a Portaloo, stopping every so often for 20 minutes to allow the stranded motorists to form an orderly queue and relieve themselves.  For a nominal fee they would be able to ‘offload’ and return to the car and the money raised would pay for the loo roll and Sanigel.  I may investigate this idea further myself.  I am due a career change….

And why stop at Portaloos anyway?  Burger vans, maybe a French Market?  All on wheels obviously so that the owners could set up shop at the drop of a hat, when they hear of a traffic hold up somewhere.

The possibilities are endless….

Open letter to the Highways Agency

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Dear Mr Highwayman

Please take note of the following points and act accordingly:

1. When you set up a contraflow system, give me plenty of warning you are about to divert a lane so that I have time to pull into the correct lane in order to get off the motorway at my usual junction

2. At the NEXT junction, bearing in mind I just missed my usual exit place due to lack of road signage, don’t stick up a BIG sign saying WORK ACCESS right next to the exit. This will confuse me

3. At least give me some idea where to get off now, I don’t want to go North but that’s what the next exit says

3. Don’t fill the whole road up with an array of cones, misleading signs and trucks. It’s not an obstacle course, it’s a motorway

Oh, and going back to the time I was returning from my holiday late at night the other week:

4. Don’t decide to close a slip road that I want to get off at and omit to tell me the junction beforehand so I have to go MILES and MILES out of my way to get back to where I wanted to be

And finally:

5. Hurry up and finish these bloody road works! I am developing cone-phobia and an intense hatred of signs

yours sincerely

Mrs Angry from Essex

There.

I think that should sort it