The Western Lands

We travelled to Wales, as we had planned to do at Christmas.

On Friday morning I went to the car hire to collect the car we’d rented for the week. The last time I hired a car was in September and there was quite a queue to pick up or drop off early in the morning; this time I was the only 1 collecting.

I was given a very new Ford Fiesta. As always happens, when driving a new car I discover a new electronic feature that has been added to the motoring experience. In this case, the car flashes up warnings about “Driver Fatigue” if it notices any slightly erratic behaviour in holding lane position on the motorway. I suppose as we move over to “driverless cars” there will be a long overlap period of hybrid vehicles where the car deals with part of the journey, and is on standby to take over at any other point in an emergency. I suppose if hire cars are going to monitor a driver’s performance there’s no reason why they shouldn’t share their data with other AI car-brains, and we might now see “driver review sites” similar to TripAdvisor, but with the machines assessing human operators, and possibly refusing them if they aren’t good enough.

We drove out of south London going round Clapham Common. Passing up Poynders Road we remembered the name from the recent news story it featured in. There was no demonstration in progress on the Common but there were a lot of walkers about. The motorways were not too busy and we saw very few cars stuck on the hard shoulder broken-down or crashed.

Motorway services continue with the masking procedures, check-ins, and designated steps. There were quite a few travellers outside in the sun at Magor, but the air was cold. We reached Llandeilo, it was bright but cold for most of the time.

On Monday we went to Llandovery, the shops were still closed but I climbed up the little hill to see the silver knight and the ruin of the castle.

On Tuesday we awoke to see a world of snow and frost.

But it all melted away and we got back to London, where it is very cold and quite likely to get a snow fall in the next few days as well.

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