As we fast approach British Summer Time – the clocks change three weeks from today, the mornings and early evenings tend to be a little brighter. Perhaps the perfect moment to take you all on a journey. My daily commute from a village in North Bracknell to the village of Datchet across from the M4 motorway (Junction 5).
Those whom know me well, appreciate I have covered some mileage just to get to the work place. Commutes to work have tended to hit triple digits on a daily basis. (Yes that is 120 miles from High Wycombe to Bedford and in more recent times, 120 miles from Slough to Swindon). When we are younger, we all have this aura of invincibility. We care little for spending almost four hours every day on the road. We drive around way in excess of prescribed speed limits, thinking we are untouchable. To a certain extent I was one of those individuals.
The 2002-3 drive through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire was quite inspiring, as I cut through cross country, via Aylesbury, cutting across Leighton Buzzard driving past the majestic Wooburn Park, including the world famous safari park. Please note this was before the new A421 dual carriageway was built in 2012, so my journey was not as efficient as it would be now. The views of the rolling Bedfordshire countryside were photogenic but there would be better views to come, over a decade later.
The drive to Swindon, which I began in early January 2010 was straight forward in comparison to Bedford. Living with my parents in Wycombe at the time, the route took me on A404, A404(M) before joining the M4 at junction 8/9 and travelling westbound until I reached Junction 15. Thankfully the office was just a few miles away from the motorway junction. However this was hardly a picturesque route, although they probably exist, they would take twice as long to cover the same distance. A tarmac jungle is perhaps the best way to describe the scene, but then I just have to put my foot down and concentrate on the day ahead, or unwind on the journey home. 5pm would be a key point in my day. Having left at 4:30pm sharp, 30 minutes into my journey, if I had reached Newbury (or on a very good day be beyond Junction 13) I was making excellent time on the journey home.
Once again I find myself travelling to work by car, but the journey is thirty minutes and down to a mere twenty two minutes on a Friday when most working people decide to work from home.
Foreigners must have preconceptions of the UK and England in particular. A green and pleasant land? You sometimes forget, particularly if you live in a city metropolis, that vast sways of England and Wales is countryside. Upon discovering my new journey to work, which is a mere 14 miles, the scenery is probably some of the most beautiful I have ever experienced. I cannot wait for the summer, so I can enjoy the breathtaking views. Views that belong to our dear Monarch, whom allows us subjects the freedom to roam her Great Park.
There are many people whom wish this great nation to become a republic. Why would you want to turn your back on hundreds years of history? Why would you want to make us like all the many other republics out there. The monarchy is far too ingrained within our constitution for it to be swept away overnight, using the hashtag #stopthereign. What would you do with Windsor Castle? Turn it into a museum? A hotel for American tourists? Please… I am not saying our current predicament is perfect but the next generation are making an effort to move with the times. Shall we not give them a chance.