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!