When Jane brought me a cup of tea and some toast and Marmite this morning she happened to mention I needed to be out of the house in ten minutes to take the car for it’s MOT.
Ten minutes later, me an’ the dog (who needed a walk) were in the car and heading for Peterborough… good job I don’t do that whole ‘needing an hour to get ready or I can’t leave the house’ thing. I’d even eaten my toast and drunk most of my coffee… I hadn’t put terribly many clothes on… picked up my phone or doorkey… but yanno….I was out.
The MOT place is on the outskirts of Peterborough, an industrial estate sandwiched between the Werrington Parkway (big dual carriageway) and the eastcoast line (big fuck off railway)…. really not a prime dogwalking area…. normally our stomping grounds are riverbanks and green lanes… our favourite resting place on a sunny day, the greystone bridge where John Clare met his wife to be.
So… we set off… up a cycleway and under the Parkway..into a housing estate… and then noticed (well… i did..Lucky was busy noticing an interesting takeaway container) signs for the Peterborough Green Wheel Cycleway. Now theres not much good about Peterborough…the cathedral..museum…er…well…
But the Green Wheel Cycleway is part of the reason the town claims green credentials… its brilliant it “provides over 45 miles of continuous sustainable routes around the city. It was one of the first large scale projects Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) delivered for Peterborough and first opened in 2000. Not only does the Green Wheel contribute to a sustainable transport system, it also celebrates over 3000 years of social, cultural and economic history through colourful interpretation boards and a series of sculptures”.
Nowadays its looking a bit scruffy and tired… but as it passes close to home and runs over our favourite bridge (the interpretation board next to the bridge told me about John meeting his future missus), I thought we’d explore it as we had an hour to kill.
It took us down the old Lincoln road and doubled back under the Parkway… the traffic was rushing over… there was a traintrack twenty yards to our left and there on the bridge was…
I love to walk the fields, they are to me
A legacy no evil can destroy;They, like a spell, set every rapture free
Why isn’t there an Engineers’ Corner in Westminster Abbey? In
Britain we’ve always made more fuss of a ballad than a blueprint
. . . How many schoolchildren dream of becoming great engineers?
Advertisement placed in The Times by the Engineering Council
We make more fuss of ballads than of blueprints –
That’s why so many poets end up rich,
While engineers scrape by in cheerless garrets.
Who needs a bridge or dam? Who needs a ditch?
Whereas the person who can write a sonnet
Has got it made. It’s always been the way,
For everybody knows that we need poems
And everybody reads them every day.
Yes, life is hard if you choose engineering –
You’re sure to need another job as well;
You’ll have to plan your projects in the evenings
Instead of going out. It must be hell.
While well-heeled poets ride around in Daimlers,
You’ll burn the midnight oil to earn a crust,
With no hope of a statue in the Abbey,
With no hope, even, of a modest bust.
No wonder small boys dream of writing couplets
And spurn the bike, the lorry and the train.
There’s far too much encouragement for poets –
That’s why this country’s going down the drain.
…. and yes the car did pass its MOT 🙂