Trains and cars and tunnels

And the miles are eaten up once more taking me back down to Brighton. I should have probably got a hybrid car instead of Bergman. All this talking about how we can be more aware of the things we destroy in our endless quest for convenience, and then I drive to the coast with a petrol engine. Maybe I should get the train. Even though it costs too much.

As I was driving down I was listening to Radio 4 reporting the train wreck of HS2 being abandoned to Leeds and I was curious. Everything on the news was focussing on the broken promises. Surely the story is rounder?

I remembered a story about the young architect who built the Natural History Museum. It was his first big commission. The planned interior and exterior was packed with beautiful featured ornate stonework and detail. Apparently the architect had an old friend who had been around the block with public works. “They’ll suddenly cut your budget two thirds of the way through the work. Build the beautiful detail first and store them in a warehouse. If the detail is not already made, it’s the thing you’ll end up having to cut.” He did so. They cut the budget. The museum lost a wing, but kept the exquisite ornament.

There’ll be people in Leeds kicking themselves that they didn’t insist that the work started in the North and went down South. There’s no way they wouldn’t link it to London that way. I’m sure the public officials and commuters of Leeds feel hung out to dry, but I’m also interested to know about the objectors and campaigners – the naturalists and the environmentalists. None of the visible news takes them in yet. None of the talking heads on BBC 4 today said “Well, there’s a stretch of extremely valuable ancient woodland that we have been trying to preserve, and we are over the moon about the plans being dropped.” Swampy is in a tunnel somewhere, dancing around with joy. If the news wanted to put a positive spin on things it would likely be easy to find a level headed naturalist to take that standpoint. Despite the destruction of so much nature already, at least a pocket of the north will keep some of its long lived forestry, at the cost of another 20 minutes journey time for those people who get sucked back into the “Live Work Die” model that we are encouraged to campaign for.

At least the negative spin to this news proves that the thing your rabid friend disparages as “the main stream media” is turning on this slippery bunch of salesmen. They’ve been astonishingly forgiving as we’ve watched them take so much, chip by chip by chip. It seems the worm is turning. The papers are never going to start cheering for Starmer, but I think they’ll start baying for Boris’s blood soon.

My work for the power network is done now. It’s done. Hooray. The last session was sadly a pretty disengaged bunch, but I feel like I did as good a job as I could under the circumstances, and with the material I had. Sixteen is a terrible age to be. It’s hard to be interested in anything. I just hope they don’t all end up flipping burgers.

Digging tunnels… There’s interesting stuff down there. They found important Roman remains while excavating a graveyard, that would never have been found otherwise. And presumably they also demolished the Norman Church. “Hey everybody, look at these statues!” *Bang*

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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