This morning was the designated time for our car to go in to the Bodyshop for the work to be done on the back bumper (one side by me and the other by the farmer!). We had to be there by half past eight, so it meant an early start for the thirty mile journey - and a courtesy car for the return journey.
Of course there was a lot of traffic and also a huge amount of road works on the A1 at Scotch Corner, where we join it. Traffic cones, traffic lights, diversion signs - a real headache.
We had to leave the A1 at the Darlington turn off along the A66 link road. Here the road, only a few miles long, runs through a sort of cutting. The sides have been landscaped with silver birch trees and an absolute wealth of Spring flowers. There were thousands of primroses out on it banks along the way and here and there drifts of daffodils waving in the breeze.
And what spoiled it all? The rubbish. The cigarette packets, the drinks cans, the take-away meals cartons - all thrown from the windows of passing cars. Have these people no concept of beauty?
Do they not care what the countryside looks like? Some of the silver birch trees were festooned with strips of black or transparent plastic and here and there a whole bag of rubbish had been dumped.
There was a letter in our local paper at the week-end from someone complaining about dog owners who clean up after their dogs and then leave the offending black ''pooh bag' at the side of the path in some of our beauty spots. This is the same sort of mentality and really I can't see any way of combatting it.
When I think that the people who have ruined the display of primroses with their rubbish are probably the same people who complain about the rise in Council Tax. And all those primroses don't plant themselves, do they? They have been paid for by our local Councils in an effort to beautify a stretch of our roads which would otherwise be dull and uninteresting.
The words thoughtless, unimaginative and downright destructive are three words that spring to mind.