scraping the barrel

Ojos de gato

Of course, not all aspects of life get worse as time goes by. Some things are better than they used to be. Those concentrated stock cube thingies are quite good. Oven chips are much better than they used to be.

Then again, much of life gets incrementally worse, as tiny little bits of our civilisation are eroded. Advert breaks are longer. Chicken doesn’t taste like chicken anymore. Blue Peter are doing away with their pets in favour of gadgets.

The A413 from Buckingham to Aylesbury has had some resurfacing work. Part of it was done in the old-fashioned spray-n-chip method. Haven’t seen this for years, genuinely, and nor had anyone else, apparently. Because it was obvious people weren’t aware of the risk of shattering their windscreen if they drove too fast into an oncoming flying chip. Mind you, they didn’t even have the right signs to warn us about the risk: SKID RISK, we were told, which was patent nonsense.

Another bit has been done in the more expensive scrape-off-and-retarmac method. But I noticed a thing. They scraped off the cats’ eyes and didn’t restore them. I guess they’re relying instead on some kind of newfangled luminous paint, which will work until it doesn’t.

I’m fond of cats’ eyes. They’re a quintessentially British thing, and such a genius idea. Driving a country road at night in this country is a pleasure because of them. Meanwhile, across the channel, where they don’t have them, you can find yourself very distressed at night in the wet, when the white lines are invisible. Getting rid of them rips the heart out of this nation.

Did some accountant look at the cost of road repairs and lop off the luxury of cats’ eyes because modern cars have stupidly bright headlights and we don’t need them anymore? If so, that individual is responsible for our quality of life getting a little bit worse.

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