What if something terrible had happened?

Work being hectic, today’s spin was just a quick jaunt taking in Twyford, Wargrave, Remenham and Henley before heading back over the hills to Reading. Coming out from Remenham Lane to cross over Henley Bridge, late morning … and there was just no-one around – no cars, no people.

Of course it was just a momentary freak of circumstance – in probably less than a minute ‘normality’ returned. However, what struck me in retrospect was that my first thought was ‘what’s happened?’ I’m immediately imagining some unspecified disaster has occurred and I’m unwittingly riding into a town deserted as a result. That has to be an odd response.

I’m no horror film fan – this isn’t something I’ve learned from the cinema; rather, I suppose it betrays a deep-seated fear that’s a legacy of growing up in the Cold War years and the ever present threat of nuclear war. We may have all joked about it, I certainly don’t recall ever losing sleep about it, but it was real. You can only wonder what other sub-conscious thoughts and attitudes I might be harbouring as a result of those years – me and everyone else of my generation.