D4D

Would you be offended if I called you a cunt?

Archive for the category “Driving”

Overtaking – On the decline

Over the last few weeks of driving, I’ve been noticing more and more that other drivers seem to be quite averse to overtaking, even with miles of clear and visible road ahead.  I don’t quite know why it is – maybe it’s about how generally risk-averse we’re becoming – but it’s bloody annoying.

I do overtake – so long as it’s safe, and the road is clear. (That should go without saying, but still) But I now seem to be in the minority.

Of course, the irony is that when you’re then on a multi-carriageway road, every single one of those motherfuckers is sitting in the outside two lanes, overtaking fuck-all. But I digress.

The thing is, if you’re behind five or six – hell, even two or three – vehicles who aren’t overtaking whatever’s holding everyone up/back, then my own overtaking manoeuvre becomes difficult, if not impossible. So you just end up sitting there, because no-one else is prepared to do anything.

It’s an odd state of affairs – and sometimes bloody annoying. But there’s not a lot that you can do, except accept that it’s just going to be one of those days…

Travel Time

The trip to Edinburgh this weekend is also pretty much the first time I’ve taken a long-distance train journey since I lived in Manchester. I was considering driving, but looked at a minimum of six hours each way, as well as the consideration of fuel costs etc., and thought “You know what? Eff that”.  (Which is pretty novel in itself)

So I checked out the train costs – the journey’s about 5 hours each way by train, and the ticket price is pretty much on a par (within £10 or so) of the expected fuel costs. Plus it’ll mean I get to read, write, or just look out of the window, rather than being stuck having to concentrate on driving the entire way.

All told, it’s really been quite a sensible decision.  I’m not sure how it happened – I normally see a sensible decision and run in the opposite direction.  I’ll write more about it once I’m back, and know how it all went.

Month of Madness

This month is actually quite busy for me outside of work.

Last weekend, I ended up doing a daytrip to Somerset.

This coming weekend I’m in Edinburgh – I may have mentioned that before

The weekend after, I’m in Manchester.

The weekend after, I’m in London.

And then it’s May.

I’m not quite sure how that’s all happened, but it’s going to be fun.

Whitstable Day-Trip

The day trip to Whitstable was thoroughly pleasant, and much needed.  Among other things, I’m coming to the conclusion that I really need to have more sea and seaside in my life – it’s something that’s been missing for way too long.

Having written last week about feeling down/flat, wondering what’s going on and so on, I found myself feeling far, far better as soon as I got out the car and heard the noise of waves on the beach. I don’t know why it works like that on me, but it does.

Anyway, as a result, I walked along a large length of the seafront. What the hell, I was there early, and most places weren’t even open, so it was pleasant – and I got to meet a huge Irish Wolfhound as well, for added bonus points.  Mainly though it was about just walking and appreciating the noise of the sea. (Such a bloody hippie)

The BeachThere’s also a load of beach huts along the front, all different – not just in paintscheme, but in style – and I ended up taking photos of a number of those, too.  Again, no-one else around, and it was a pleasant way to spend a morning.

Whitstable Beach HutsIt was just what I needed as a ‘day off’ activity, and I ended up walking 5km along the front, taking the odd picture, and just relaxing.  I stopped off at a few places as well, and also spent some time sat in wind-free areas – of which there were few – just reading amid the sounds of the waves.

More Huts at WhitstableThe weather wasn’t perfect – it was grey and blowy – but that didn’t bother me. I wasn’t going there to soak up sun, but instead to just have time out from lots of stuff. And I got that in swathes.

Groynes on the beachWhitstable’s definitely one of those places I’ll be going back to, and could easily consider as a place to live. It’s not ideal – some of the travelling would be more problematic than it is currently, for example – but at the same time it’s a place I like. It’s on the list when I finally do decide to move on, and let’s leave it at that…

Slowtime

Following on from yesterday’s notes about being a bit flat/tired, I’m taking this weekend as being a bit slower, a bit calmer – well, by my standards, anyway.

Saturday is going to be a cinema-day. There’s a couple of things I want to see, the timings gel nicely, and the weather forecast is mediocre, so sod it, that’s the plan. An afternoon of cinema.

Sunday though is likely to be a bit sillier. Because all I want to do is curl up and do nothing, I’m going to do another day-trip. I’m unsure of exactly where yet – the main options being Reading, Whitstable or Brighton – but all are within a two-hour drive.  I’m quite tempted by Whitstable, to go and sit by the sea and generally chill out a bit.  I used to work near there many moons ago, so a bit of a revisit too. I did go back there a while back – although a site search has revealed that ‘a while back’ actually means 10 and a half years – so it’ll be interesting to see what’s changed (and what’s stayed the same) in that time.

And that’s the plan for a quiet weekend…

Sick Day

Following on from yesterday’s post, last night was vile. I won’t go into details – safe just to say it was bad.

Anyway, as a result of that, I took the decision that I’d take today as a sick day, as I wanted to visit the GP (among other things) and generally Not Do Much.   Which was a mistake.

The GP – as usual – was fucking useless.  Having waited 90 minutes to see the incompetent git, I was in the room for less than five minutes. I explained that I’d spent most of the night with an insanely sore throat – to the degree that I thought it might end up being tonsilitis – , and coughing up big green lumps. He checked my throat and decided that it wasn’t tonsilitis. Fair enough – I know fuck-all, so I bow to their supposed knowledge.  But at the same time, despite being told I’d coughed up a ton of crap, he still didn’t bother to check my chest at all – something you’d think would be pretty elementary.

And the final verdict? “Nothing I can do, take some paracetamol, and maybe Neurofen if you feel the need”. That was it. Useless shyster bastards.  (And yes, there’s another complaint in with the practice manager)

After that, I went back home, still feeling like shit – only also feeling annoyed. Never a good stage in the day.

Within half an hour, there was a crunch of noise outside, the sound of plastic and so on getting splattered down the road. It didn’t sound promising – and I had a nagging feeling…

Yep, a driver had managed to smash off the door mirror of my car – which was all parked up, in the same place it usually is.  Oh fuck.

In fairness, she’d stopped, and was seeing what had happened. I know any number of people wouldn’t have even slowed down, let alone made an effort. So you know, fair play on that score.  She was a very new driver, had misjudged the width of her car while another one was coming the other way, and smack.  It could’ve been so much worse – so, so much worse – and she was properly upset.

I spoke to my Saab garage, and got a price for the replacement mirror, and we exchanged details.  I showed them where I lived, and all was well.   A bit later, her dad came round – in a good way! – and we discussed it, that she was a new driver, and if we did this through insurance, it’d hit her very hard, for something that really wasn’t worth that much money.  I’m fine with that – I’m not going to penalise the poor girl for something, when she didn’t even have to stop – and I think it’ll all work out by people dealing with it as adults.

And so I’ve ended up, on my day at home and feeling crap, going over to the Saab garage, getting things sorted – and as it turned out, actually getting a replacement mirror far, far cheaper than I expected. Basically, they’d got a silver car that they were stripping for parts, and I got the mirror. The colour isn’t a precise match, but I don’t give a shit about that.

The full replacement should’ve cost £300, with labour etc. on top of that. The swapped part has cost me £100 including labour, and took less than an hour from start to finish.  I can’t deny, I’m pleased with that, and well chuffed with the garage – they’ve always been good with me, as has been shown by what they’ve done today.

 

It’s all worked out OK – but for a day doing nothing, it really hasn’t been all that successful…

 

Snow Day

Last night it snowed in the area I live in. I’d been in the cinema for the evening, and came out to find the car covered in snow.  Not lots – maybe a maximum of two inches all told. But it meant slower driving (well, except for BMW drivers, who were still their usual dickwhistle selves) and just generally being sensible.

Of course, at this point I know that various friends in different areas of the country/world are pissing themselves laughing (as usual) at Britain’s shitness with snow and inclement conditions.  The only excuse is that we don’t have enough dodgy weather to invest in the infrastructure to deal with it. Canada, US and Scandinavia are all used to feet of snow, and have the machinery and infrastructure to deal with it.  Here? Not so much.

Anyway, it made driving home a bit more cautious – although still not bad at all – and also made me thankful I was driving at midnight, rather than in peak hours. Even at midnight there were still plenty of idiots driving too fast for the conditions, and making things interesting.

And I’m very glad I was working from home today, rather than travelling on the M1 in either direction…

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