2012-08-25 51 0
Slap bang in the middle of the northbound lane of the A128, a short distance north of Bulphan.
Careful map examination revealed the presence of a loop in Brentwood Road enclosing the hash - and something called the Creative Musical Academy on said loop. All set for a 4pm meetup... and maybe a Speed Racer.
It was a reasonably nice afternoon when we set out. 'This should be easy,' I thought. 'It's a piece of cake,' I thought. 'What could possibly go wrong?' I thought.
Well, for starters, the road sign leading up to the Orsett Cock roundabout was, um, mostly not there. So, which way is the A128? Is it a turnoff here, or at another roundabout further down? Who knows! Who cares! Let's guess at random! Wheeee!
Sadly, I guessed right. Off up the A128 we went - past the turning into Orsett, past the Dog and Partridge, past the entrance to Bulphan itself... and our destination was in sight.
Or maybe it wasn't. I had unaccountably failed to take into account the fact that there were two loops in Brentwood Road - and I had no idea which was the right one. I was driving at a steady 50mph (the speed limit - for some unknown reason the entire A128 is at 50, not 60), but had I passed through the hashpoint yet? There was no choice but to keep going.
We passed the second loop of Brentwood Road. Surely that was the last one? But how could I be sure? It certainly didn't look like it held anything worthy of the name Creative Music Academy. There was no choice (particularly since the other end of this loop wouldn't let us turn in): onwards!
We passed under a railway bridge. That had to be after the loop, right? Unfortunately, Brentwood Road isn't in my mapbook - no choice! Onwards!
By now I was sure we were past. But how could we turn round? I wasn't going to try a three-point turn in the middle of 50mph traffic, and had vague nightmares of ending up on the A127 bound for Basildon (a fate worse than death, I tell you). 'No!' I declared in the privacy of my mind. 'If it comes to that, I'll turn towards London, and hang the consequences!'
It didn't come to that. There was a roundabout instead. One trip all the way round, and we were headed back to the hashpoint. Zooming straight past the first loop, we turned off into the second, and confirmed that no, this wasn't the one - it was a bunch of rather expensive houses.
At this point I think my fragile mind cracked. Unable to face the thought of immediately turning round and going through the same stretch of road a third time, I headed west, over the A128, and into Bulphan proper.
This was a mistake.
Unfortunately, Bulphan is one of those 'quaint' English towns built along a single road, with nowhere to turn round. We passed through, out the other side, and were well on our way to North Ockendon before a large driveway and a clear road gave us reprieve.
No, of course the road didn't stay clear. What do you think this is, a sensible hobby?
Back out of Bulphan! Back up the A128! This time, into Brentwood Road, past some scrubby little buildings, and... okay, so apparently the Creative Music Academy isn't as grand as I expected. 'Scrubby little buildings' about covers it. We turned round further down the road, and finally stopped moving.
It was 4pm. There was no-one around. Yet this was definitely the right place - renamed to Camera Music Services, but definitely correct. Could it be, shockingly, that no-one else from the Internet was driving around Bulphan over and over again?
It was starting to rain, so after hanging around for five minutes, we headed home. By the time we got there, all the buildings had turned Impressionist - sorry, I mean, the heavens had opened and the Deluge descended. Had I gone with my secondary plan of cycling out to the hash, I would have been a dead cert for a Drowned Rat... but hey, Hash Achieved! Speed Racer Get!
| Huinesoron earned the Speed racer achievement
| Huinesoron earned the xkcd Nullaturion achievement
| Huinesoron achieved level 1 of the Minesweeper Geohash achievement
|Huinesoron earned the Rat In A Box ribbon|