Is it possible to write a whole column about a roundabout? Well, it depends on the roundabout.
That sweet little one just outside Stubbington, with the church on one side and the park on the other, hardly makes a sentence, let alone a paragraph.
Neither would the big ‘am I going around a roundabout or am I still on the motorway’ one at the back entrance to Portsmouth. It’s big, but it’s too easy to navigate to be column-worthy.
But when it comes to Fareham’s new one, sitting next to Tesco, oh yes, I have plenty of words to say. And they are not happy, rainbow-coloured ones. No, they’re very blue.
I’ll be frank. I hate it. With a passion. And while some people may even doubt that it is a roundabout any more, I’m quite sure that, whatever it is classified as, it has been built in some intricate pentagram design so that as every car traverses it another horn is raised in hell. And that the traffic lights have been designed by a Satanist programmer who wishes to inflict the biggest possible amount of despair on the human soul.
Take, for example, the legendary cruelty of the design coming off the motorway to go into Fareham central, or to said supermarket.
Oh yes, the green-ness of the lights beckons you on as you arrive at the roundabout. But – and it is a big but – you enter a yellow box with room on the other side for only two cars.
In front of the two cars is a light which is always red when yours is green. Which means even if you are at the front of your queue, watching the light change to green above you, your progress is still completely at the mercy of room on the other side of the yellow box.
One bus coming out of Fareham and you’re snookered. And I was, for light change after light change after light change.
Traversing from another direction left me stuck in the middle, weeping at the unfortunate angle I had ended up at.
Being nice to someone else meant I missed a slot and I found myself stranded in an ever-decreasing circle of red lights.
But on the bright side, I managed an understanding nod with a cyclist who’d given up in despair and decided to push his bike across the middle.