It is a Mrs Warboys day.
On Mrs Warboys days, the entire populations of large cities decide it is the very moment for the whole family to jump in the motor car and to head for a seaside town. These seaside towns are there every other day of the year and are pleasant places for a walk even in the winter months, but only on Mrs Warboys days are they the focus of such irrational mass hysteria.
Bray is a place invaded on Mrs Warboys days. It is not the biggest of places, and the seafront can only be reached through narrow streets, but it is a good place for an ice cream and a walk along the Victorian seafront. However, when thousands of people decide to arrive simultaneously, there is just not room.
Today’s Mrs Warboys Day saw the the traffic tailing back up the street to the roundabout at the north edge of the town, around the roundabout, up the motorway slip road and onto the M11. The M11 was at a halt at 2 pm with much of the traffic from both lanes trying to exit for Bray; the jam had reached the point the point where the accumulation of traffic had stretched back onto the M50. This had caused traffic to leave the M50 at the previous junction, causing delays for people who were nowhere near Bray and who were peacefully going about their own business.
The irrational Mrs Warboys day compulsion to eat ice cream beside the seaside in Co Wicklow was making a significant contribution to Ireland’s carbon emissions total for the year.
A consoling factor is that no bank holiday traffic jam could be quite the experience of poor Mrs Warboys, who once spent four hours on a bank holiday sitting in the back of Victor Meldrew’s car looking at a horse’s bottom while Meldrew raged against the world and other motorists.