Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Well done me!

This is not something that I’m used to saying. It almost feels obscene to praise myself... but then again why not. I have driven over 500 miles in the last week. We’ve been out and about visiting family and, as Mr A is continuing to have trouble with his eyes, he’s having to put up with my driving. I hate driving distances so I think I deserve a bit of praise.

I have two major problems with long distance motorway driving; boredom and lane discipline. As a passenger I’d often overcome the boredom by writing. Obviously this is not an option for a driver but I can’t even think about a current story plot while I’m behind the wheel. My mind is totally engaged and yet it is so boring.

Motorway driving

I know! I know! I need to drop my shoulders but somehow or other they always want to touch my ears when I’m on the motorway.

The other problem is anticipating which lane to get into. Why do motorways have to have left hand lanes that suddenly become a different road? One minute you’re driving along the M6, the next you’re being swept into the M56 and heading for Wales. How confusing is that? I do have a Sat Nav with a nice Irish man called Sean who talks to me in a gentle, reassuring way but even with his help I have been dangerously close to being swept onto the wrong road several times during this last week.

The reason we’re doing a bit of travelling is that Mr A has just completed a six-month course of chemotherapy but unfortunately the levels in his blood are continuing to rise and the doctors are concerned that the Amyloidosis will spread if no further action is taken. They want to refer him for a stem cell transplant but we’re trying to delay them... just a little. He needs a break. It’s summer. We’re going to get away, visit family, go to the seaside, enjoy some typical British ‘warm’ weather. The family visits over this last week are just the start of our summer of busy... although I have to say there’s busy and there’s busy.

Last Sunday was spent daughter-visiting. It was a lovely day so we decided to take Josh-the-dog exploring. Nothing too energetic. It was more of a stroll than a walk. We wandered, we watched the ducks, Josh socialised a little...

Josh socialising

...but everyone around us was so busy.

We were overtaken by joggers, cyclists, even canoeists – and yes that is a canoeist ‘shooting the weir’ or whatever they call it.


What is it with all this need for physical activity? Can it really be healthy, especially on such a warm day? The picture on the left doesn't quite show it but the joggers were passing us constantly. At one point I feared that it might become busier on that path than on the motorway... still at least there was no danger of being swept onto the M56 to Wales and I could do some of my Nosy Adam people watching and story-idea gathering without having to concentrate too hard on where I was going.

A note for other Nosy Adams/Parkers/Smiths/etc like myself: A project called Bugged has just been launched. There’s more information on their website but basically they’re asking writers to ‘go forth and eavesdrop’ on July 1st. We have to write something based on what we hear and send it to them by August 15th. There’ll be an anthology of the best coming out in October 2010.

Permission to be nosy… now that’s what I call fun!


  1. Congratulations on your mammoth motorway marathon and, if you ever do get onto that tricky little M56 and find yourself in Wales, come and say Hi! It's not so bad here, you know, and some parts are even quite pretty. ;-)

  2. Thank you, Kath, and I never intended to insult Wales. We have family in the Portmadoc area and yes it is very pretty.

  3. Absolutely no offence taken at all, Rosalind. It's all good.

    Have a lovely summer of visiting! x

  4. Well done, Rosalind! I hate driving on the motorway. In fact, when I bought my first car here, I asked my husband to drive it home because I just couldn't face the M25. I understand the ears-to-shoulders!

  5. I don't mind driving on the highways - unless my hubby's in the car. He's a total control freak about driving and just hates when he's not in control.

  6. Good for you Rosalind... all that motorway driving and the more you do it, the more confident you will become! I hope you and him have a lovely summer and that the long range forcast (which I believe is good) turns out to be right!

    I also loved your other post about tweeting your way (kind of) into your paper! Well done you again!

  7. It's lovely to just stop and look around - I haven't had a chance to go walking the past two weeks, and I feel it! Go away, rain! And I want your Sean :)

  8. Thanks Talli. It's good to know there are other ears-to-shoulders.

    Hi Jemi, why are so many men driving control freaks. Mine is struggling to keep quiet, I know. Sadly he has no choice.

  9. I know, Barbara, it's all to do with practice but... *sigh* And thanks for the long-range forecast. Let's hope they've got it right this year!

    Hi Merrilee, Sorry to hear about your weather. Sounds like time to put on your mac and welly boots and splash in all the puddles. That can be fun too... and I'm afraid you can't have Sean. He's mine! ;-)

  10. Thanks for the tip about bugged - sounds greaty fun.
    As a Scot with a husband from N. Wales and a sister in Suffolk, I haven't had much choice when it comes to motorways. Even the children were trained to put up with it at a young age!

  11. Oh at last your blog recognises me - and just when I do a typo. C'est la vie!

  12. Hi Ali, so glad my blog now recognises you. They do have their foibles, these blogs!