LAST week I joined the back of the queue leading from Gillette Corner on the A4 for what should have been a simple two-minute drive down Syon Lane to the junction of London Road and Twickenham Road, where I live.
I was due to see a play at Hammersmith's Lyric theatre at 7.30pm - which meant getting a bus no later than 6.30pm. So as I turned at Gillette with the clock reading 6pm exactly, I was pretty pleased with myself.
Even the long queue of cars did not concern me too much, as I naively figured the most it would take was 10 minutes to get through a few extra changes of the lights. But it was the sight of drivers about 20 cars in front giving up and turning back that first made me worry.
I found myself wondering how long they had been there before losing hope, and after 15 minutes or so and not even having reached Syon Lane station I realised the answer. I could see the lights by this point, and I was able to count how many changes of lights it took before just one car could make it across the junction. For every 10 changes only one hapless motorist was able to escape the nightmare.
In the end it took 45 minutes to reach the lights, and even then I was forced to adopt bullyboy tactics, weaving around more hesitant drivers in order to make it across.
But by the time I had got indoors, changed and walked to catch a bus it was well after 7pm. Annoyingly, I reached the theatre 10 minutes after curtain up and was not allowed in until a suitable break in the performance.
So if you were one of the people whose foot or head I trod on while stumbling to my seat in the dark, I apologise and suggest you lay the blame for any annoyance at the feet of Thames Water and Hounslow Council.
I know that's what I did!