Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Long way round

I wasn't going to talk about football today and I will stick to my guns for the most part on that score, but, and it is a huge but, I have to give a small mention to a small player with the footballing world at his feet. I will only use two words, Lionel Messi.

So away from football and seeing as I am clocking up a fair few miles a week on Britain's road networks I thought I would talk about cars and roads, and the people in those cars and on those roads.
I will start with the morning run, the run that usually includes the late mums, the late businessmen, the late white van man, and the late footballer! I doubt that there is anyone setting off early in the morning who hasn't got next to them the most important tool for any commuter, Sat Nav you may think? but no it is of course caffeine. Spilling it on the first bend after leaving home is always a must to set you up for the day.
The first choice en route is what radio channel to choose and I usually flick between Radio One and Two. Chris Evans is miles better than old Terry, sorry Tel! You can always tell what your fellow commuters are listening to by their behaviour. Laughter equals Radio 1, nodding in agreement equals Radio 2, whilst singing and throwing a few shapes about definitely equals an ipod mix.

The pace is frenetic in the mornings with the worst offender being my nemesis, the Mercedes Benz sprinter van. Contents include three blokes in the front, plenty of packets of crisps strewn across the dash, the News of The World, and a turbo booster in the back. The aim I think is for the lads to egg each other on to reach the 'ton' mark and to see how close the front of the van can get to the back of the Ford Mondeo in front.
This also applies to the small rotund man who drives his 7 or 8 series BMW and suddenly feels so big and strong that he sprouts imaginary muscles and bullies his way through the traffic. His wife (or mistress!) fingers her way through TV quick magazine oblivious to the fact that her husband is having a game of road Pac Man.
You obviously get the lane hoggers and the lane changers, also the overtakers and the undertakers, the drivers who want a race, and the ones who love to test their brakes constantly by braking for no apparent reason.
The middle lane hoggers annoy me as much as 7 series man. Under no circumsatnces will the middle lane hogger move over, not if their isn't another car on the inside lane for ten miles, not if an ambulances sirens are on, not even if the inside and outside lanes are giving away free petrol and coffee. I want my middle lane and that's that, if you are undertaking me I just don't care!. Then you the get the mental 'weaver' who sees the traffic as a challenge in his Renault 5 Turbo - with loads of spoilers mounted on board for extra speed. He will take any lane going as long as their is space and danger on offer.
Other lane maniacs include the poor fellows who have simply nipped out to the garden centre for some pot plants, somehow they soon find themselves on a four lane motorway being battered from lane to lane by the crazy youth of today.

I think everyone on the road feels the strain of the speed cameras, 50, 70, 50, 70, 50....oh I can't be bothered it's 70 and I will take the consequences - for me that meant last weeks sixty quid fine and three points thank-you very much!.
I always feel sorry for those poor souls who have broken down, and who look broken whilst waiting for help to arrive or who are attempting to walk the fifteen miles to the nearest services.

Phone crime on board is rife, eating on board is constant, the serices are a joke and all lorries love stopping you entering any motorway from any slip road, and also love swerving around bends on B-roads towards you until a last minute sixteen wheel, twenty tonne manoevere averts any danger.
Return journeys to Devon are great, the surfboard count starts, although so too does the caravan count, the traffic eases up (at the time I travel anyway!) and home is in sight. The pedal is still down to the metal but the stress has most definetely eased.
And pray tell what I am like you may say "Mr Peter Perfect". I am a combination of all of the above!
At the moment my knees are on the steering wheel, my back is in spasm and my coffee is finding it's way around the whole car - I am driving 'Katie' at the moment - Named affectionately by Harriet, my wife's loaned little Renault Clio is going great guns on the highways. I am like a cross between Jeremy Clarkson and Mr Bean with my 1.4 litres of power behind me. The best thing about driving it though is the fact that Hatties toy kettle is still in the boot, so every time I turn a corner the the kettle makes a boiling sound!.

N.B All of the above is a generalisation and in no way reflects all drivers.......apart form the bloke right up my **** today in his 7 series that is!

P.S Great meal last night for my wifes ?th birthday and an even better meal tonight at Jase and Sarah's. Just don't mention fillers!

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