Friday, 3 June 2016

Traffic woes

After a morning of preparing a sermon for Sunday, I took the bus into town and walked over to St German's for the wedding blessing. There was a long traffic queue on Cathedral Road. Vehicles were moving so slowly, I began to wonder if I'd left enough time for me trip. I could have walked past the next couple of bus stops in the time it took for the bus to travel. The reason? Not road works, but a scaffolding lorry double parked on a road with vehicles parked either side, creating a choke point for traffic in both directions on a busy afternoon. I don't think it had broken down. There was a side street no more than fifty metres from where the lorry had stopped, where it could have stopped if there was a load to deliver. 

It's not the first time this week it's happened on one of the city's main traffic arteries this week, so it poses the question whether anyone with responsibility for traffic, parking enforcement and planning is consulted beforehand about disruptions of this kind. They're not uncommon, as a great number of urban properties are now the target of investment by renovation. I know only too well how much work goes on to prepare for major events involving traffic disruption as the team works in the same office space as CBS. In our side street 3-4 parking spaces have been occupied by skips or dumps of builder's materials continuously for the past year or so. The parking demand just from residents, let alone workmen and visitors far exceeds supply. Cardiff benefits from all the enterprise but is harmed by anarchy tolerated, or regarded with indifference.

Hundred strong gathering for the wedding was mainly of local people who didn't have to get across town. It was an informal happy family affair, a thanksgiving for a couple that has stuck together for better for worse. A young family member sang an unaccompanied solo while the couple and their entourage gathered at the altar. Unfortunately their recording technology failed to work with the church's public address system, but just because it seemed to fit, I included in my brief address a solo rendering of Frank Sinatra's song 'All the way', and said why its message was relevant to this celebration. It's nice to have the confidence and freedom to do this in my old age, and know that I may be excused for eccentricity rather than deviance from conventional stereotypes.

After the blessing, I walked back to the office in town, and worked on updating Libre Office on three of the desktop machines. Each new version seems to get slightly quicker, and retaining that familiar consistent user interface is a boon. I have the highest regard for this international voluntary work of co-operation in creating excellent digital software. I also arranged Ian's June paycheck, as the details had just come in by email, to leave one less thing for Julie to do when she gets back after her holiday next week. Then I went home to cook supper, and watched the first episode of a new Danish crime series called 'Dicte - crime reporter, about a fearless often unscrupulous investigative reporter with an annoying knack of getting there ahead of the local police. As well as the main plot line there are also sub themes about women's issues, divorce, family estrangement, and it's set in Aarhus, for a change.

Pleased to see that Archbishop Barry and his predecessor Rowan Williams are among the religious leaders speaking up in defence of EU institutions as instruments of peace and social justice ahead of the referendum. But does anyone listen to religious leaders any more?

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