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Saturday, January 26

Crazy Day

To say that today has been crazy would be unfair. It's been fairly full featured and I haven't really been on schedule for any of it. Indeed, I was expecting the schedule to sort of just emerge, and that's been a fairly optimistic plan. In fact, it's fair to say that I'm an optimistic planner. My expectations that my house would be sorted out by now have proved beyond blind optimism and into plain old blindness.

Anyway, my housemate had asked me if I would take him over to see a car today. I was told it was about 45 minutes away from home. It proved, and I'm not complaining, to be a good 70 miles and hour and fifteen minutes away. This was fine, as there was a chance to listen to the results of last night's recording session with a live audience as it were. There was also the chance to shoot the breeze and drink smoothies. Well one smoothie.

We had set off later than planned, though it was still fairly early in the day. The result of my current body clock, daily schedule, and probably also my poor recent eating habits, meant that I was very sluggish in starting the day.

The car was viewed. Then it was road tested. Then we went into the centre of Chippenham to have a think. In my view this was the perfect opportunity to sample the delights of Mr and Mrs Starbuck. So we did that. Eventually, we returned to the owner's house to put a deposit on the vehicle - a monetary deposit, that is.

Heading home was at about 1.15pm and we got the chance to listen to the Radio 2 comedy hour, which was half Arthur Smith and half Jammin'. I enjoyed both, because I'm a fan of comedy. I know. It's surprising to think that I might be a fan of comedy, but I am.

Back home and the plan was to empty the car out of the various worldly possessions I had in it and then take it to the office to leave it there. This was interrupted by a couple of missions. I had to deliver the road tax for the car I own to the location where it is kept, this will allow it to be used on the road without causing any alarm. I also had to drop my housemate off in town for him to get to the bank to get the remainder of his car fund together. Good times.

Back home, take two, and this time I did manage to depersonalise my car, with the exception of Sat Nav and mobile phone handsfree stuff. I bundled my bike into the boot and then headed to the office. I had an MP3 player with a very good comedy series loaded onto it, so I was sorted. I kept the comedy playing as I took my bike out of the car and started on what was to be an 11 mile journey back to Reading. The comedy kept me entertained, when I could hear it, and the journey passed under my wheels without any major event. I didn't particularly run out of energy or steam, though I failed in my mission to get any automated "slow down" signs or speed cameras to recognise me. I managed to hit a top speed of 26mph, but that's not enough.

All of this cycling and bidding farewell to the car is a measure of trying to come to terms with the court case on Monday. I may well leave Rotherham magistrates court with a driving ban. If I do, then my life will be altered in a way which can only be described as humungous. I needed today to prepare for this possibility.

Back in Reading, I took my bike in to be serviced. I'm always amused by bicycle servicing costs, since no matter what I ask them to do, it never costs anything like I'm used to paying for minor tweaks to my car. My last garage bill was non trivial, so I just told the bicycle people what was bothering me about my bike and left the shop confident that they couldn't shock me too much with the final price.

I then went for a haircut. I thought that the clean shaven version of me might look the most sympathetic in the suit in the courtroom on Monday.

After the haircut, I started preparing for the rest of the weekend. I'm going to a family event in London tomorrow and it's in the morning. I can't drive there. I now have no car for the purpose - the company car being at work, and my own car being on loan o someone else. Plus, I can't leave a car in London and I'm traveling up North tomorrow to go to the court case, and I can't take the car up North... so it's the train. I didn't want to get the train in the morning, so I had to get to London tonight.

Somehow, the process of getting food, ironing my shirt for the suit, getting washed (from the bike ride and the haircut) and then packing, seemed all to take much longer than expected. When I arrived at the bus stop with my three bags, with the aim of going to the station, I ended up deciding that I'd be better of just continuing the walk to the station. This I did and made my way onto the 21.29, bound for Paddington. This is the train which takes me away from my current life as a driver in Reading. I may return as a new-born driver, or I may return as a user of public transport.

Time will tell.

Crazy day.

I'll be picked up at the other end of the tube system and given a bed for the night at my sister's in preparation for tomorrow's day with the family. Tha's a good start to a new life.

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