Instantly, having a car seems so natural, so helpful, so always been. All those years of not having a car seem so alien. It’s been barely 55 hours since buying my car and it’s like decades have gone by already. All those years of foot travel now obscured by the haze of the past.
Before the dawn of the motor
If you don’t have a car but live in Southsea and work in Fareham then getting to and from these places is a pain in the arse. Oh sure, the individual steps are easy but as a whole, it takes the piss. There’s the 20-25 minute walk to Fratton train station, or a £4 taxi, followed by the 20 minute train ride to Fareham at £98 for a monthly season ticket and often delayed service. If you so happen to work down by Sainsbury’s, in the industrial estate, then it’s a 25-30 minute walk before you start your day. Do your day. And then walk, train, walk back home again.
Trains are inconveniently spaced and if they’re like the 1712 South Western Service from Fareham, always bloody delayed. Heavy traffic can make you stop and wait to cross the road. Tiredness slows down your feet, and even the weather can determine if you’re going to dawdle.
I found it sensible to allow 1 h 30 m door-to-door. It could take up to 2 hours.
Upon the rising sun
On Day 2, I had no issue getting out of my parking spot. I was between the bins and the landlord’s car and once sat behind the wheel I remembered how I’d got in it, so I just did that in reverse.
Down Victoria Road, passed Asda, and out onto the M275. I’d street-viewed the roundabout and lanes at the mouth of this little motorway the night before, so I knew the lanes I needed, but I didn’t do this for the road leading up to the roundabout. I got into the wrong lane there, knock-on effect, I had to somehow get across. I managed it but did wish I was in the right lane to begin with.
Off the M275 and onto the M27 westbound for a junction was a piece of piss. I got on it by the lane that gives you a dedicated lane on the motorway, and I’m only on it for a couple of minutes.
I parked up in Sainsbury’s to get lunch miles from anyone and my only critique is that I could’ve pulled forward a bit. Other than that, my parking was textbook.
At work, I parked at the back of a line of cars so I had guaranteed room to get out.
Later that day, I popped back into Sainsbury’s and had to park between 2 parked cars. Awful. Absolute abandonment. I was at a strange angle and everything.
After work, I headed to the allotment to meet Shaun and Myles so we could plant potatoes. Because the day before, when I went, I was in the wrong lane on Eastern Road and ended up taking a long route, I asked Shaun about the lanes to use to get there. I didn’t ask about how I get onto the M27, though. I started with the wrong lane, knock-on effect, and caused myself some bother.
But I did it. Motorway twice in one day.
After the allotment, I picked Jackie up for a KFC. I got into the wrong lane so had to take the long route but we had a pleasant little jolly around Fratton.
Day 3 has seen me pretty much repeat the day before, but instead of those wrong lanes I got the right ones and I headed straight home after work. I also overtook someone on the motorway.
Having a quick mind this morning, I timed myself — 35 minutes door-to-door, including a stop in Sainsbury’s. I was even quicker this afternoon but I didn’t think to time it.