Getting Around

Edward says

We’ve made our feelings pretty clear when it comes to cars; we don’t want one, we’re not going to have one, some say that we can’t live in a small town like stroud without a car, with a baby on the way, it’s just impossible: however would we get to Mothercare in Cheltenham? well, i’m not going into that one just now, but needless to say it’s an issue that has already been resolved.

The thing is, the UK, like most countries in the world now have been bulldozed into submission by the automotive industry. Why? because the car has been sold to us on the premise of extraordinary convenience that we cannot live without. We can leave the saftey and comfort of our homes and slip into a comfortable car and move seamlessly from front door to office to supermarket with a minimum effort. The ribbon of the road has been laid down so neatly to suit so well our very busy modern lifestyles.

But the concept doesn’t work and never has worked for me. I don’t want to sit in a car, and I have never really worked out what is so convenient about them. They’re big and heavy and as a result it takes an enormous amount of energy to move something that very often only contains one person and a briefcase. I honestly think that the whole idea of travelling around in something that weighs a little under a ton for the sake of convenience is quite simply a bit bonkers. It also strikes me that if someone is going to do anything convenient in a car then quite alot of other people will want to do it too; this, it seems to me always leads to traffic, congestion and long delays. Most inconvenient!

So for one or two reasons I have always chosen not to drive. I have always enjoyed the alternatives far more and I have found my way of doing things perfectly convenient.

I like to travel and I like a good journey. whether i’m getting a train to Cologne or cycling down to town I think that a journey is a perfectly good opportunity to think things through. Don’t think it’s particularly important what I’m thinking but we live in a very busy world and it is good to take stock of it all from time to time and have a jolly good think. The opportunity to enjoy such a journey would be difficult while manhandling an automobile through the city, with the sat nav telling you to turn left onto the nearest level crossing and buses pulling out infront of you. I feel the same about planes if I’m honest; I have to say that I think the idea of flying from one side of Europe to the other in a couple of hours is barbaric. The space between here and Andalucia is vast, a huge amount of land and a multitude of cultures, tastes, smells, and of course the weather, that very gradually goes from being england to spain and very gradually becomes Andalucian. All this doesn’t happen in two to three hours! There is so much to experience in the getting there. 

What I’d like to do with this section about transport is to talk about how both Emily and I travel. For my part, I work away from home much of the time, my job takes me into London on average twice a month and throughout the UK the rest of the time. I will show how far I am travelling in a week, how many stops I am making in a single day’s work and attempt to compare this with the same done with a car.

Most interstingly for Emily and I we would like to use this part of the blog to gauge how we cope with our way of doing things when we have a child, we know that transport will become more complex when the baby arrives so we would like to use this blog as a way of documenting our experiences.

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One Response to Getting Around

  1. Carol Mathews says:

    Fantastic blog! I have fond memories of Emily’s involvement in Transition Transport group and also of Ed being really helpful in Sunshine Health shop. Nick & I are keen to support your green living and would like to offer you our MacPac – really fantastic baby / child back pack from NZ. It’s one of the very few items we bought new when our daughter arrived 7 years ago and we were really glad we got it! We have used it a great deal and it is very comfy (for both parent and child!). Anyway, she’s too big for it now (though did get the odd lift in it until she was about 5!) – it is yours if you want it – let me know. Also, if you want any tips for travelling without a car and with a baby, we’ve got lots (including drying the washable nappies on the back of the bike in France!) … just ask! All the best with a great lifestyle choice.

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