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Doing your best

By David Howard

Alternatively titled when life gives lemons make lemonade. The fun of the planning and chase, as well as the map entering to me is as much fun as taking the photos themselves. It is a circular process until maybe me or my car (or anyone else's) run out of steam and go back to seeing how many different views I can preserve of Golders Green. When reading the map for the spring when the days were long enough to allow a free run I made a list of map directions unvisited within reason, and by May had done over half (I am motivated when I get an idea) and with plenty of time to go had another look in case there were any other routes available. I once worked in a lorry despatch office and as well as learning the routes to send them on the most efficient routes needed a few extra details such as splitting an overnight into reasonable portions.

The route mapping has a second consideration of road quality. The white ones basically mean a combination of wrong turnings and single tracks, and double the time for the same distance as dual carriageways. Ideally. So after working out the simplest route for a new myriad the well covered route from Harold Hill to Colchester would easily be the smoothest run as there was no known bottleneck now from here to there. After a slightly halting crawl to Edmonton things opened up, including a spectacular hailstorm with lightning in Gants Hill, and when I saw the difference between Colchester and Southend at the turnoff did stop and think should I take the easy route, as it was getting late and almost as far from my existing area covered. But that was based on the existing knowledge, so who could have guessed as soon as the A12 became a dual carriageway the traffic would stop.

TQ6296 : Gridlock on the A12, Mountnessing by David Howard Evidence.

No, not slow or increase, but just stop. It was maximum 30 mph onwards on the brief periods of movement all the way to Ingatestone, over 10 miles, and was clear the chance of getting the still substantial distance was remote, so plan B was decided on, leave at the next exit (I had no idea where I was) and see the best place to go to instead.

TL7408 : Exiting the A12 at the Boreham Interchange by David Howard

As it was it was the aptly named Boreham interchange, as I was by then extremely bored, and with little need to investigate deeply besides the road I was leaving the only main road led due north to Braintree. That was a straight run with nothing off it besides those dreaded white roads which although some turn out as nice white lined 50 mph runs the majority do not, so didn't want to go off piste, and after travelling 118 miles my red dot in Great Notley was a whole 7 miles away from my red dot in Great Dunmow. Like losing a pound and finding a penny it was a small comfort compared to a myriad, but all profit. Technically I had also got plenty of new squares, got a couple of miles past another existing point in Chelmsford, and got 3 squares further east than before. As I collect the pre 1964 road signs as soon as I turned into Great Notley I saw some writing on a plate and realised it was a broken road sign. The arrowhead and two letters had gone, so was still almost usable, saying BRAINTR with RAYNE underneath (although Braintr-ee appeared to be in another direction) and unusually E GREEN 1 1/2 on the other side.

TL7421 : Queenborough Lane at the junction of London Road by David Howard The road from Rayne.

The only odd thing was the letters were double the usual size, but the right font. When I got home I did the collector's trick of checking the route online as many with one old sign have others in that set, and found a perfect condition RAYNE BRAINTREE sign at the other end, but on a local huge size fingerpost rather than a standard flag arrow. There's no certainty both were identical as besides the poor resolution the other one didn't seem identical, and mine had a black border and different brackets, the ones used on national signs. Without the end (or someone who remembers it) I can't be certain either way, but a small additional bonus on top.

I did, however, discover how relatively easy it is to get to Southend, planned next, as although I've been many times wasn't so sure of the traffic at the moment. Technically it is the gateway to another myriad as well, but all on white roads past the A127 plus MoD land where you may get handcuffed at gunpoint (I do watch a lot of cop shows) a few miles approaching the border. But not on the official list. But the conclusion is we can only do our best and make the best of any unforseen obstacles. But (not that I'd dream of watching it) in this case the only way is Essex.

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Sun, 20 May 2012 at 23:28
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geotagged! TQ6296
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