I live in the country, a place where there’s more sheep than people.

Our house is situated at the end of a single-track lane.

Not much traffic – nice.

Every year, the local county council arrives with a truck full of tarmac and fills the many potholes.

The quality of the repairs, and their subsequent success, varies. I think it depends on the crew’s experience, ability and care.

I’ve witnessed a range of outcomes over the years.

From beautifully executed, road level, repairs that appear to last a lifetime.

To randomly patched chasms.


Repairs that look like the tarmac was added with a stick and flattened with a sock.

Terribly trickled Tarmac that’s guaranteed…

Guaranteed to spill out and the creators to re-emerge just a couple of days later.


Fixing holes like this is never ending; like filling a leaky bucket or painting the Forth Bridge.

Except that second analogy is a myth.


And has been for many years.

The Forth Bridge hasn’t been painted since 2011. And won’t be for another 20 years.

The solution?

They found new paint.

30 year paint.


Considering the limited financial resources of Northumberland County Council, it’s unlikely that they will lay a new road.


However, I do wonder about the long-term effectiveness of repeatedly (badly) filling the same rubbly ruts.


Filling a hole and doing it well once, is a fix.

Filling the same hole annually could be defined as maintenance.


Badly filling the same hole, over and over, is crazy.


And yet…


You know this is an analogy.

And you’ve already worked out I’m talking about you.

You know what needs to be repaired.

The question is… temporary fix or permanent resolution?


Please let me know what you think below.


Be Brilliant!



  1. June 29th 2023 by Beki Gaskin

    just had to share that yesterday my local council repaired an enormous pothole on the single track dead-end lane where I live. They told me it couldn’t be driven over for 24 hours – which was hugely inconvenient as it was at the bottom of my driveway and they had given me no warning. They finished the repair a few hours later and realised their enormous truck was parked beyond the repaired hole so they had to drive over it to get out…

    1. June 29th 2023 by Michael Heppell

      Unbelievable – and yet, totally…

  2. June 29th 2023 by Nick Jenkins

    I wonder if we tend to prioritise personal ‘temporary fixes’ rather than ‘permanent resolutions’ because of our desire to minimise the short term pain. It just feels more comfortable to put off the often greater investment of time, effort or cost. But we’re forgetting the old adage ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’!

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