News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Motorway Musings

Driving home from London along the M4 on a midweek evening last week, I smiled as I passed Wooton Basset, the name of the Wiltshire town which always reminds me of a packet of sweets.

As it was late, and despite my obligatory power nap at Reading services, I was very tired and my thoughts started to wander to other places in the UK that have edible names:
  • Sandwich
  • Cheddar
  • East Ham
  • Appleby
  • Scone
  • Strawberry Bank
  • Bakewell

Having exhausted this little game, and not even being at the Bath junction, I then turned my thoughts to places named after animals - a natural progression in my carnivorous mind from items of food to things that had the potential to become such.

My list included:
  • Swanage
  • Cowfold
  • Birdlip (I know, I know, the d is silent in the local pronunciation)
  • Dog Village (Devon)
  • Duck End (Essex)
  • Fishponds
  • Goose Green
  • Barking (stretching a point, really)
  • Wolf's Castle
  • Leighton Buzzard (of course)

From there, for reasons not clear to me then or since, I started to muse on place names that suggested a location best avoided:
  • Gravesend
  • Grimbsy
  • Downham
  • Bury
  • Saddington
  • Dulverton
  • Lower Slaughter

Inevitably, I then turned to the opposite end of the emotional spectrum and started to list happy-sounding places. I found fewer such places coming to mind:

  • Luckington
  • Helpston
  • Lover (in Wiltshire)
  • Fairfield

Before I knew it, I had passed junction 18 and had caught my first sight of the orange glow of the Bristol conurbation from the top of the hill.

Game over.

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