The best bridge in St. Albans
St. Albans is a pleasant city with lots of quaint bits here and there. It’s got some old stuff and some new stuff, like every good British city should (I’m looking at you Milton Keynes).
It’s also got a river called the Ver which is a slightly frustrating name. It sounds strange saying the River Ver, as if you have a reverse stutter or something.
It’s relatively uneventful and twists and turns through some fields. It’s a nice walk if you can get through the jungle of nettles which seems to guard every path leading to it.
I went walking by it last Saturday as a little exploration to see what was there and I was pleasantly surprised. It was very peaceful and beautiful, you just had to be wary of the cow pats present at every turn.
Whilst I was walking, I came across this bridge:
I loved it.
I’m honestly not sure why I loved it.
To look at, it’s nothing special, it’s actually a bit ugly. It’s small and unimpressive, most people could make it themselves with enough concrete and focus. It’s basically just a slab on a slab on a slab with some metal running on top.
I’ve spent the past few days trying to work out what I loved so much about it and here are a few reasons why I think it’s the best bridge in St. Albans. I’ve loosely tried to tie the reasons back to our lives as well so that this post isn’t just about a dull bridge which you’ll probably never see…although that hasn’t stopped us before.
Primarily, bridges need to do their job. They need to get me from one side of the river to another, and this bridge did a bang up job of that. It’s got no frills, it doesn’t necessarily look nice, it’s got no fancy ropes, but it did provide me some dry ground to walk on which is all I really needed.
We sometimes get hung up on making things look pretty rather than fulfil what they need to do. At work I spend hours aligning text boxes when I’ve missed off the most important piece of information.
Jon has previously spoken about using short sentences and easier words to get your point across rather than long, complex words which cause you to lose your audience. It makes sense.
It is in contrast to its surroundings
It really stands out: everything surrounding it is green and natural but this is just a block of concrete! It makes you notice it, in kind of a good way. It brings attention to how beautiful everything else is by putting something ugly in the centre.
Think about the rain. Now think about the sun. Doesn’t the rain make the sun better because, when the sun is out, it’s not raining any more? We love the sun because it brings an absence of rain and cold. Don’t the bad times in our lives make us appreciate the good so much more?
In a world of chaos, it shows us that mankind has got a handle on some things
Previously, crossing this river was a bit of a problem if you didn’t want to get wet. So putting a bridge there, solves that difficulty.
When something doesn’t go our way, when we see war, lying, cheating and other atrocities, when our fridge breaks or our road has potholes in it, we can start to think that humanity is failing. Like we’ve missed something.
In those moments it’s important to remember that we’ve at least got something sorted. That we can cross the River Ver.
That’s not a problem any more.
I hope you all enjoyed a post about a bridge. I liked it. Don’t forget to wish us Happy Birthday by the way. We turned one yesterday and our aim is to move from gargling to walking in the next year. We’re setting our sights high…