Back to the Future
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If you could turn back time what would you do? Bennett has a few ideas
When my brother and I were younger my parents took us on a train from Port Talbot to Cardiff for the day. Yes, they spoiled us. The thing was however, as the train pulled into Cardiff station and my brother and I got up to leave, we saw that my parents were sleeping. So we quickly started to call them. But they wouldn’t wake up.
We shouted, we pulled them, but nothing. We then looked in horror as the train pulled out of Cardiff station! My brother and I didn’t know what to do. We had never been further than Cardiff on the train. What was the next stop? Narnia, Neverland or another magical place beginning with N?! (Yes, Newport) Anyway, our parents then opened their eyes. And laughed. They laughed! Apparently we weren’t going to Cardiff after all, we were going to London for a week to stay with my Aunty. We couldn’t believe it! They’d tricked us! Of course, in retrospect, the fact we had three suitcases with us should have been a giveaway.
I believe that memory, the panic of seeing our station moving away (yes, I know it was actually the train that was moving) was the starting point of my dislike for travelling. And also, to a point, of my parents.
Unfortunately there’s a substantial amount of travelling involved in my job, via most modes of transport. I’ve recently been recording radio shows in both Cardiff and London, so I’ve been travelling along the M4 on a regular basis and paying the price for it. Literally. £6.70. That’s the current price of the toll on the Severn Bridge. Now, whether or not you think that’s a lot of money… it’s a lot of money.
(By the way, speaking of radio shows, my last one, Bennett Arron Worries About… has just been nominated for a Celtic Media Award. The new series is recording at Chapter in Cardiff in May and June. Be nice to see you there.)
Last year was actually the 50th anniversary of the Severn Bridge. The toll back then, when it first opened, was two shillings and sixpence.
No doubt some of the older readers are now thinking: “That’s so cheap!”
And some of the younger ones thinking: “Two shill... what?? Is that like Euros?”
For those who don’t know, two shillings and sixpence is around twelve and a half pence. Yes, twelve and a half pence. Now taking inflation into account that means the toll today should be just under one pound, not £6.70!
But I’m not here to discuss whether or not the toll should be cheaper. It’s none of my business. But it really should be cheaper.
As I mentioned, it opened 50 years ago last year which was the same year as the series Star Trek started on television. Which coincidentally also had a Bridge. Now that’s proper travelling; a five year mission to seek out new life and new civilisations. Which reminds me of a comedy tour I once did up north.
I love science fiction, and when I was thinking about the type of travelling I do, it made me think about time travel. And I wondered if you really could go back in time and change things what would you do? Would you make a change that would affect the whole world? Or would you just not order that one last drink – the one that gave you a three-day hangover and lost you your job? (I’m asking for a friend)
For me, I’d go back and let people know the truth about what will happen if they vote for Brexit. And, more importantly, stop the person who invented the concept of Reality TV. That way we would never get to hear about Katie Hopkins, Russell Brand or President Trump.
And what about travelling to the future? How will we be in say 20 years’ time? Will the DFS sale eventually end? Will Piers Morgan have been found out? Will this country be in such a bad state that children in Africa organise charity events to help us?!
Well, I can’t think about that at the moment as I now have to go to another gig. More travelling. You know, sometimes I really wish there was a better way for getting around…..
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© Bennett Arron Spring 2017