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Look Around You - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Look Around You
Well we made it to dreamingchristi's housewarming, complete with 1970s 'costumes': in my case this was clothes I'd happily wear normally -- russet-brown skirt and orange-and-white static-pattern top; in sion_a's case it was mostly clothes of mine. Hmmm.

Good party on the whole -- dead veg and dead animals were incinerated, alcohol was drunk, conversation was had, and Look Around You was watched. And indeed it was very funny. The house looks pretty cool, and the Look-Around-You-style DYMO-labelling was inspired -- I've never seen air labelled before! Though I gather the cats weren't too impressed with the label-everything campaign, as they and their newly-labelled collars sulked out of sight for the entire party.

We took the opportunity of this journey to test the new Oxford-Cambridge route, and discovered that it's pretty good -- only took about 1hr40 even with my driving, and it was a much easier drive, not nearly as many roundabouts and nearly all dual carriageway.

Weird driving to Oxford and driving past the turning points for visiting other friends. Also quite strange driving part of the route that my parents used to take when they were driving me to and from college. Driving past memories of all the things I've lost and can't get back. All the roads not taken, and all the dead ends. And no map.
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Comments
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: May 23rd, 2004 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, so what's your route?
simont From: simont Date: May 23rd, 2004 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'd like to know that too. I have to drive to Oxford next weekend, and I'm having serious routing indecision at the moment :-) A recommendation of a really good route would certainly be helpful.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2004 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
From Cambridge:

A14 as far as turnoff for A45 (a bit before Kettering).
A45 to Northampton, then round the N'hampton ring road (South side) to the turnoff for the A43.
A43 until it runs out and you fall off onto the M40.
M40 for one junction only, then turn onto A34 (which becomes the Oxford ring road).

The only slightly awkward bit was the N'hampton ring road, which is all roundabouty and a bit confusing -- it's not actually *complicated* but it's very, very badly signposted ("Oxford / The North"?? Er, right...). Other than that it's nearly all dual carriageway.

The one potential downside of this route is that it goes through (or nearly through) Silverstone -- not recommended on race dates as you end up ironically stuck in stationary traffic for hours.
simont From: simont Date: May 23rd, 2004 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, yes, that's not a route that would have occurred to me. It sounds like quite a detour, but presumably this is compensated for by the lack of fiddly roads, roundabouts and single carriageways (and I suspect it's also less of a detour than the totally unimaginative M11/M25/M40 route). I might give that a try next week. Thanks!
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2004 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I gather the M25 route is only useful if you're doing it in the middle of the night & don't see anything wrong with going 120mph on motorways... It's certainly a huge detour, and, well, it involves the M25. :-}

The route I've usually done in the past has been Cambridge, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Buckingham, Bicester, Oxford. It's relatively straightforward but involves lots of roundabouts and is mostly single-carriageway, and you always end up stuck behind something tediously slow. It's also dreadfully dark at night, though this may bother you less than it bothers me (I find unlit roads make me more tired).
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: May 23rd, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
... Buckingham, Tingewick, Finmere, Bicester ...

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm a Tingewick lad. That's the northern variant of the route I use. Mostly down to the days when I'd go from Tingewick to Oxford or to Cambridge.

The southern variant goes via Leighton Buzzard, Aylesbury and Thame, but is probably too far south for starting from Cambridge anyway.

When I'm in a hurry, it's from Royston to the A1 at Baldock, Hafield, across to J21A on M24, round to the M40 and out.

Strongly not recommended - trying to do the A505 from Leighton Buzzard all the way to Royston. That way lies Luton and insanity.
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: May 23rd, 2004 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Definitely avoid the M25; it's a gigantic mess of roadworks at the moment.
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: May 23rd, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is? Where?

(None tonight between South Mimms and the Rickmansworth turn tonight, and none round as far as the M4 last weekend. Coming from Cambridge, you'd not want to use the M11 unless you're going to the East side of London and environs.)
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: May 23rd, 2004 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a load of long-running work going on around Heathrow for terminal 5. I got caught in it a couple of weeks ago, despite it being 11pm.
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: May 23rd, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, so that's what the queue warnings are about.

(Not that we've gone south of the M4 junction itself for a long time.)
sion_a From: sion_a Date: May 24th, 2004 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
There are warning signs for those on the M40 north of Oxford. I mean, I know M25 queues can get bad, but....
imc From: imc Date: May 24th, 2004 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
The M25 between the M40 and M3 junctions is definitely to be avoided at the moment. On the other hand, we had a trouble-free drive round the upper half of the M25 (in each direction) a few weeks ago.
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: May 23rd, 2004 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, an interesting possibility for visiting Silverstone itself.

Time to go see my Mum.
simont From: simont Date: May 30th, 2004 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only slightly awkward bit was the N'hampton ring road, which is [...] very, very badly signposted

Bloody hellfire in sandwiches. You weren't kidding about that bit, were you?

The route worked well otherwise, though; it'll probably be my default route to Oxford in future (although I'm rapidly running out of reasons to need to go that way at the moment). Thanks!
j4 From: j4 Date: May 31st, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry -- I did warn you! Perhaps instead of "very, very badly signposted" I should have said "a labyrinth of signposting which is at best useless and at worst actively confusion-inducing"... but that might've put you off, and it really is a better route apart from that one bastardly bit.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 31st, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry -- I did warn you! Perhaps instead of "very, very badly signposted" I should have said "a labyrinth of signposting which is at best useless and at worst actively confusion-inducing"... but that might've put you off, and it really is a better route apart from that one bastardly bit.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2004 06:47 am (UTC) (Link)
See reply below to simont (it's hard to reply to two people at once such that they both get email alert that they've been replied to!).
karohemd From: karohemd Date: May 23rd, 2004 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Good to see you again and yes, I thought your clothes weren't that unusual for you. :o)

We took your route back, very easy and simple to follow and more dual carriageway than the Bedford-Milton Keynes one.
owdbetts From: owdbetts Date: May 31st, 2004 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the suggestion of the Northampton route. Took it at a fairly leasurely pace, due to feeling a bit hung over after Christi's party, but it seems like a quicker route than the Bedford/Milton Keynes/Buckingham/Bicester...

Although we did end up going round the really big roundabout at Northampton twice due to getting confused by the signs... :-)

-roy
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