I have had an interesting trek to pre-school with my children this morning. Our town is popular with commuters because we sit very close to the M6 motorway, with Manchester, Chester, Stoke-on-Trent and Merseyside all within easy access. The downside of that is our almost constant roadworks in the town centre to repair potholes made by all the heavy goods vehicles that pass through. I understand that the roadworks are necessary, but this morning they gave me some stress.
It took me around twenty minutes to walk to pre-school, which is about average really when I have my daughter on her buggy board attached to the pushchair, and my dog pulling on his lead and stopping to sniff everything of interest that we walk past. That wasn’t too bad, although I did have to walk a bit further and double back in order to cross the busy road and avoid the closed off sections of public footpath. On the way back home I thought it would be easier, because I had less weight after I had dropped my elder daughter off, and we could take a different footpath that seemed unobstructed. I was wrong.
There is a building under renovation that has scaffolding at the front, right at the point where the footpath narrows and the road is busier. It was closed off, so I crossed over and then had to turn around, walk back to the pedestrian crossing, and try a different route. I avoided another narrow footpath that appeared to be closed off because of the road works and tried to return the way I had walked previously. Not happening. The workmen had since closed off that section, so I crossed the road and then discovered that I had to cross back again, walk round the bottom of the circuit I had just taken, and cross three more sections of busy, congested main road, simply to get to the part of town where I live! I must have looked very funny to onlookers as I zigzagged across the roads with my pushchair and dog in tow. I was not laughing, however. I was getting very cross!
Phew! Had to get that off my chest! Ah, the joys of being a writer connected to social media. Anyway, that was the crazy part of my morning journey. I would probably have done better in the car, but since we only have one family car at the moment and my husband uses it for work, that is not an option. Besides, it is a beautiful, bright sunny morning and has warmed up a little so I ended up taking off my gloves and scarf before I overheated.
One good thing about living in this town is the people. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and there is a wonderful community spirit. I have made lots of friends locally since I moved here six years ago, but actually only discovered most of these friends while I was on maternity leave. Before that I was so busy commuting to work five days a week and cleaning house at weekends that I never had chance to socialize. For me, becoming a mother enriched my life in many more ways than I expected. We stopped to chat to neighbours and friends as we passed on the street this morning, and then there was my casual conversation with an older lady who I didn’t know but who was talking about the dog and telling me about her family pets. That is what I love. There is always someone to talk to, and my dog and children are an excellent icebreaker. So, despite the roadwork stresses, I am feeling happy and grateful this morning to live in such a beautiful, safe, friendly community. Have a lovely week!