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Thursday, September 18

Well... I'm a quitter. I only got half-way through Cabaret last night before losing my concentration. I'll have to have another go at chapters 19 onwards tonight. I'll reserve judgement until I've seen it through. I can't help but subconsciously draw comparisons between it and Chicago (same writing team).

It must have been the rigours of the time between work and getting home that reduced my energy levels below those required to concentrate on a Liza Minnelli film. I helped a friend a car transportation situation. I towed him around 12 miles from Blyth to his home in Newcastle. This car was a slightly unroadworth vehicle he plans to work on in his spare time at home. As such, its brakes were not really up to much. Towing is a black art, and one which he first inducted me into a few weeks ago when I had to tow his more roadworthy vehicle when it broke down. The tricky part is that the front car is not supposed to brake, since it will cause an immediate rear-ender from the rear car. So the rear car does the braking for two, while the front does the accelerating for two. The aim is to keep the tow rope taut.

Travelling on A roads at 40 miles an hour in tandem with a car with poor braking is the ultimate test of:
  • Concentration
  • Trust in your co-pilot
  • Endurance
  • Nerve
  • Other road users
There were a couple of hairy moments en route. One was pulling onto a roundabout which people were tearing round - even though I left it until I saw the roundabout as completely empty, we only really had a few seconds to get going. I'm glad I didn't have to be the car on tow in that situation - he had to trust my judgement completely and hope that I could get us going quickly enough. The other hairy moment involved turning right through some fast moving thick traffic. A gap was long in appearing. A bus behind us decided not to wait and so turned before us, into the oncoming traffic lane of the street we were wanting to turn into. There was a car in the oncoming traffic lane, waiting to come out, so the bus went to its right - phenomenal to watch!

The mission was accomplished with a minimum of fear and loss of skin. Result!

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