There are 2 types of roads in West Wicklow.
- The national road (yes, singular) which is resurfaced every two to three years, whether it needs it or not (preferably doing the stretch close to schools in September) and
- Secondary roads.
The secondary roads are harried by tractors, huge logging trucks, frequent rain, and trees roots that have endless fun poking at them. The upkeep of these roads is carried out by a band of four men travelling around in their truck. One man to drive, one to look into the hole, one to fill it, and one to laconically wave the traffic on, inviting motorists to chip their paint and spatter the car with specks of tar.
West Wicklow drivers learn to swerve and sashay around these relatively quiet roads, watching each other for sudden moves that would signal an impending pothole. We drive down the road with a chassis memory of where potholes are, where potholes have been, and where they might be again. One could be forgiven for thinking that it is not so much that the roads ever get repaired, but that you need to swerve in different places from week to week.
I might have wondered, in idle speculation, what would happen if the shuffling patching of the roads did not take place. Now I know. Parts of the road become a network of puddles with narrow amounts of tar macadam holding them together. This leaves two ways of taking the road less travelled. Go slowly, use whatever support there is, gently easing forward ready for an unexpected dip. Or strap in the dentures and go for it.
Either way, now that our gallant band of road mending troubadours are working from home, they have left a gap in my life. Quite a few actually.