Down in a hole


This Saturday, I rode my bike down to Parkrun and ran an ok time – I was pretty worn out and hadn’t had much sleep, but it was damp and cool, which should have been ideal conditions for running fast. Afterwards, waiting for the rain to stop (it got much worse after the run) so I could cycle home, I struck up a conversation with a couple who were on holiday in Singapore. The wife was a civil engineer. I’m always impressed by civil engineers because they do something that’s clearly useful for the world, whereas us bitmeddlers may just be moving bits of data around in circles for no particularly good purpose. SHe made me feel very old, by telling me that the Nicholl Highway was a case study for engineers during their first term at university.

Or rather, not the Nicholl Highway itself, but the time that there was a collapse of six lanes of the road, when the tunnel they were building underneath for the underground train line collapsed. IT’s strange to think of things not being built properly in Singapore during this century, when the image of Singapore is always one of great competence, but reading the reports it’s also startling how small the fines seem to have been – four people died in the collapse, and the qualified person at the site got an $8,000 fine.

I rode home, sopping wet, and spent the day gradually recovering, before undoing all my good efforts by going out this evening and caning it on red wine and sloe gin. At least that assures me of a good night’s sleep.


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