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Monday, May 8

Two Oh Six

This story would be better had I woken up at 6 minutes past two in the night. I didn't. Sorry. I woke up at about 20 past 3, if that's any help... No? Ok, then I'll get on with the story.

My girlfriend had to be up at half past six this morning, so I had a restless night's sleep. This was caused by a slight concern on my part that I'd failed to set the alarms properly, or that I wouldn't hear them if they went off. By alarms, I mean our two mobile phones, both of which did go off at about the right time and woke us up.

With the lady in question heading off to university, I didn't want to lay around, afraid that I'd drop back off to sleep and miss work. So, I dressed and followed her out of the door, the rain immediately dampening my spirits and the shirt which she reckoned didn't go with my trousers. I agreed and made a mental note to change it at the next opportunity.

Backing out of my parking space in my car, while she backed out of her space in hers - a Peugeot 206 - I made a special note of trying to avoid knocking into her. This would have been a bad move. Apart from the costs, it would have lost us both time and caused something of a tension. When I looked, she'd gone. Good work. I got onto the road and headed to my job, no collision occurred, because we were both driving sensibly.

I would have to say that morning is not my time (unless it is before 5am and I haven't gone to bed yet). Busy roads are also not my thing, any time of the day. So, to have woken up early and then be rewarded with a traffic jam was not really my bag. Luckily, some of the jam was caused by what looked like an expensive but non-fatal crash on both sides of the road (how that happened, I don't know, but there were two cars with extensive damage, either side of the barrier). I say that it's lucky that there was a crash, I mean that in the sense that it's a lot more reasonable to expect a road accident to be the cause of a traffic jam than just tolerate a busy road for no apparent reason. Bizarrely, most of the jam was caused by people slowing down to see what had happened, in some bizarre mockery of paying last respects at a funeral. Again, nobody appeared to be hurt. Plus, I like to think that if I'm being inconvenienced by a busy road it has, at least, been because something important has happened.

Overall, I'd rather people drove responsibly and that roads were built with a capacity to deal with the traffic that goes on them, rather than the traffic that the authorities optimistically believe should go on them.

Anyhoo, no actual events occurred on the road to Farnborough and I stopped off at my house in order to set off some washing and change my shirt. I parked on the right hand side of the road, i.e. facing what would be the oncoming traffic, were it to be a particularly busy road. After a brief time in the house, I surfaced and headed to the cash machine at the local co-op (because I needed some cash... obviously). I needed to make a U-turn in the road in order to be able to get to the co-op. So, I waited until there was a gap in both the oncoming traffic (in front of me) and the left-hand lane traffic (coming from behind me) and started my u-turn. I got all the way round and just needed to cross back into the lane I started from. The oncoming traffic from the lane opposite to where I'd parked had now waited for me to finish this obvious u-turn. It's a good job I was checking mirrors and blind spots. A Peugeot 206 was rushing me. Had I continued my swing, I would have had a car parked in my rear passenger seat. On the one hand this would have been convenient, as the wheel arch on that side is in need of a similar sort of replacement as the one which occurred after my last crash. However, on the other hand, no car accident is a good thing (even if it does explain a traffic jam). Amazed at the stupidity and lack of consideration of this female 206 driver, I continued on my way, unhurt and unimpressed.

The cash machine at the coop was out of order. What a waste of time. I'd parked in the parking space in the righthand lane again, facing the oncoming traffic. However, I'd learned my lesson, This time, I swapped my u-turn for a 3 point turn as I headed back the other way. The three point turn is the staple diet of driving tests and road behaviour. Surely nothing could go wrong. Again, I was scrupulous and assiduous and punctilious with my use of the mirrors and general looking around me. This was to my benefit as a car decided to nip into the space I'd just vacated, and which was part of my 3 point turn maneouvre. Guess the make and model. Another Peugeot 206, driven by a woman... recklessly.

So it's been 206 morning. My girlfriend proved herself to be the only female 206 driver that I like. She didn't cause me to have to do any defensive driving.

I've also learned that it's better not to park facing oncoming traffic.


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