Four way traffic lights on the school run

four way control

So, apparently, this is the month that Southern Gas has decided my entire road will be dug up, section by section, over the course of six months (Oh, sorry, Southern Gas, that should have read ’25 weeks’ – I guess that must be the gasworks equivalent of the 99p consumer brainwash – i.e. ‘it’s not one pound, it’s only 99p – what a ruddy bargain – let’s buy 10!’). Where do they choose to start this mammoth task? On a four way junction. Where is said four way junction? Only about 30 seconds drive from my child’s school. Deep, deep joy.

Disclaimer: we live a ten minute walk away from the school. Here’s the reasoning behind driving two days a week: on Mondays, I am on my way to work and I have a short enough window to get myself across a ten mile stretch of commuter belt road without adding another ten minutes casually strolling to and from the ‘yellow school’ as JJ likes to call it. On Tuesdays, I have EJ in the car ready to wing him up a big hill after we’ve slowed down the car for long enough for JJ to tuck and roll (only kidding) outside the yellow place of learning. He then gets his own ‘tuck and roll’ moment outside the childminder’s house before I drive onwards and upwards to the massive Tesco to pick up my click & collect shop within the time allotted. (Yes that’s right, I live my life on a ridiculously tightly plotted schedule where every single second counts – including the ones where I am sipping coffee in my slippers (wearing my slippers, you understand, not actually sipping coffee from my slippers).

Now picture the chaos that has begun to ensue in the road outside l’ecole jaune. (Bloody French O’level had to come in handy at some point in my life – come on!). Look I’m not silly, I know the short* cuts, I know the optimal parking spots, I wasn’t there when a road-rage fuelled gridlock brought the (single lane) traffic to a static face-off which could only be solved by a couple of burly builders kind enough to put their fag break on hold in order to solve the crisis with a bit of semaphore previously only used by air traffic controllers and half-cut dads at wedding discos.

And of course, I don’t want a gas explosion to take out my family home. I would rather there by new pipes. But… but, maybe now is a good time to move to Devon?