Let me just get my apologies out-of-the-way! I’ve neglected my blog over the last week and have fallen a bit behind! As such I was tempted to not post a “The Ordinary Moments” post this week as I usually put it up on Monday but I made a commitment to myself to participate every week and so, despite it being a very boring “Ordinary Moments” I’m going ahead and sharing it anyway!
The majority of the time our car is just used to get us around locally; to do the shopping, the school runs, day trips out at the weekend or a mid-week trip to the park. A couple of times a year it will have a slightly longer trip out when we go to Hope Cove. And another couple of times a year we will pay a visit to Bournemouth. So far, our visits to Bournemouth have been the longest journeys we’ve made in the car.
While Cheeky Chap has grown up here, I grew up in Bournemouth. We moved here a little over four years ago now. I think of time as a funny concept; there are moments when I feel as though I have lived in Bristol for a lot longer than four years and yet at the same time it can feel like only yesterday that Cheeky Chap was born. I guess that’s testament to how settled we now feel in Bristol after a difficult start.
My brother and my step-dad still live in Bournemouth and now we have a car we like to try to get down to see them now and again; neither of them have a car themselves and Bournemouth to Bristol via train involves a change and a busy route. I remember once travelling up to visit my sisters when I still lived in Bournemouth and having to stand the whole way from Southampton through to Bath, just one stop before I was due to get off. Although I think the service has improved somewhat since then but train travel remains an expensive and less convenient means of transport.
Last weekend marked the end of our half term and the beginning of half term everywhere else across the country. We decided to pay my brother and step-dad a visit. Whenever we go to Bournemouth, our sat nav usually takes us through Bath city centre which is always busy and lots of country roads meaning we often end up stuck in tailbacks for one reason or another. This time we decided to ignore the sat nav and went a different route, using motorways.
It was a much smoother drive than our previous trips, despite the heavy rain en-route. The trouble with no longer living in the area is you have no idea of the traffic disruptions. It was only on seeing a standstill as we were passing Ringwood and approaching Bournemouth that I recalled many of my friends social media updates bemoaning the traffic disruptions that had been going on for many months and were to continue for many more months to come due to resurfacing the roads. Of course I hadn’t paid much attention at the time of the status updates because we no longer live there!
It brought back memories of seeking peace in the New Forest on a summer’s day, heading away from the madness of Bournemouth and seeing a steady stream of traffic, people desperate to arrive at the beach, or of returning from a weekend of visiting family and seeing the tailbacks of cars leaving the area. I smiled to myself as I remembered muttering “Darn visitors” to my mum as she was driving and the irony of now being a visitor was not lost on me. In reality I should have thought of the potential delays; as anyone from the area will tell you, barely a week goes by when there isn’t some work being carried out along that stretch of road! Thankfully, we passed through reasonably quickly and still arrived in Bournemouth at the time we had initially planned to.