Comment: 30mph speed limits on country roads

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CAR, dishwasher and shower... they’ve all given up the will to live this week.

At least, so people keep saying, things happen in threes. So, touch wood, that should be it for a while yet.

As well as breakdowns in the home and garage yours truly has started to show signs of wear and tear. More specifically, an evening of dancing resulted in a click of the hip. It was all blamed on a slightly younger companion whose gyrations on the dancefloor also left The Husband with a pulled Achilles tendon.

He, of course, struggled on and played rugby the following afternoon. This correspondent gathered up a few logs and watched the racing in front of the fire.

Sneaking some sloe vodka into the birthday party probably had its part to play. What an adolescent thing to do.

“At least you can’t ride Tilly,” observed The Daughter, worried about a promise made to keep her grand old mare “ticking over” for her as it’s dark when she gets home from school.

“You’re too heavy for her anyway,” she cruelly observed. “She’s a one-person pony…”

How mean. She made me feel even more past-it by stacking up some tyres to nearly as high as her vertically challenged mother and popping over them like they were a hay bale. It reminded me of being young, when you knew you were doing alright on your pony if you could jump the height of an up-ended barrel.

We’ve begged, borrowed and bought a decent set of showjumps but there’s still nothing to beat the kind of home-made obstacles people of my generation and before jumped. We had fencing posts on the top of the aforementioned barrels, old gates, feed troughs and the thrill - when my parents moved up country - of jumping a stone wall for the first time.

Oh, those were the days. We went off for the whole day on our ponies. No mobile phones or “what if” worries. Traffic. That’s one of the main things that has changed in the countryside.

Around here, they couldn’t even slow up on New Year’s Day. It was pre dancing injuries, so we were able to have a rare family bike ride (via the pub) to the village. The Husband got a right rocket for letting The Son on the road rather than making him stick to the pavement around the awful bend on the approach to civilisation. True to form there was somebody in a car who came up behind them at goodness knows how fast and overtook right on the blind bend - there was no way she could have seen if anybody was coming the other way. If drivers can’t just hang on three seconds on January 1st there is no hope. There should be a blanket 30mph speed limit on all country roads. Not just through villages, but the couple of miles on either side of them as well.

The rat-run our road has become has turned me into one of those women that hands out leaflets and rings up the council. It’s always the same story; they need a “statistic” (aka a death) to do anything about it.

Encouraging people to visit the countryside is all well and good for businesses and tourist attractions; but what do us poor locals get out of it? If there was a walking stick to go with this hip it would be therapeutic to shake it at the next idiot to speed past...