Driven to Despair

It’s been one of those odd weeks where I’ve been very busy but now as I sit down to write about it, there’s not a lot I can tell you! That isn’t, as you may have spotted, an auspicious start to any blog post.

Having been stung by over sharing historically I tend to share less of our weekly goings on here these days, not that anyone would be enthralled by news of my ten miserable commutes to and from Manchester anyway, but you never know who reads this stuff and so the content tends to be a little different these days.

The one outstanding event of the week came on Friday afternoon, and I use the word outstanding to mean that it stood out from the rest of the week, not necessarily that is was good. Having been a blatant criminal recently and driven at 47mph in a 40mph zone, which was I should say a three lane dual carriageway, recently changed from a  50mph zone, I found myself with a lovely letter from Greater Manchester Police.

I had three choices –

  1. Three points and fine
  2. A speed awareness course and a fine
  3. Go to court and fight my case based upon the mitigating circumstances above and the fact that I was driving to work and I couldn’t see the signs through my tears.

Sensibly and predictably I took option 2 and Friday was the day. Very quickly, I was debating with myself if three points really would have been such a bad thing. Firstly the weather was tremendous and having sacrificed half a day’s holiday there were better uses of it I’m sure. Secondly, the clock in the room was faulty. How else can it be explained that the scheduled four hours took nine and a half days to pass?

Thirdly, the entire content of the course could have been summarised into about ten minutes of “driving fast isn’t a good thing so don’t” and then had us read the relevant bits of The Highway Code again. I am not of course stupid enough to think that me going over the speed limit is a good thing and generally I am a safe and conservative driver. Again, it was a THREE LANE dual carriageway (as denoted by the central barrier…they told me that on the course, but I knew anyway!) that had been 50mph since time began, but the tortuous pace at which the course was delivered was only made worse by the other participants reciting back key phrases to the instructors like some motor based group of Moonies.

Sitting through four hours of –

“Do we think that an extra five miles an hour can make a difference if we hit someone?”

Then to endure a few more minutes of folks agreeing that yes it can…”cos you’re like, going faster, and it will hurt more like and that’s bad” soon became old…..after about twelve minutes.

“Now, as a group, discuss the things that make you drive over the limit”.

Dear God, I’d rather burn my car right here in the car park and walk to work. It would be quicker anyway.

The last ten minutes of the course were tortuous. I gazed out of the window at those lucky enough to be driving past (over the speed limit no doubt) whilst the clock I was watching went backwards. I suppose the deterrent is that I NEVER want to have to sit through one of those courses again…ever…in my lifetime or the next.

I’m sure I benefited in some way and for the next few days/weeks/months I’ll no doubt think more whilst I’m driving. It’s hard to concentrate though when you have a tweet to finish and your sandwich is falling apart in your lap.

So kids, the message is, don’t drive faster than you should. It’s a bad thing. Mainly as you lose four hours of your life and have to sit next to Cockney Ian who doesn’t have an inside voice or any sense of personal space who wants to tell the whole group about how he got caught speeding despite the fact that his ten minute story is expanding the length of the course and shortening his potential life span as I contemplate implanting my free pen into his neck.

Oh and if a road has street lights on it, it’s a 30mph speed limit. So you now know everything I learned!

Till the next time…..


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