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Cardiff and back

I nipped to Cardiff this evening to take pictures for my documentary project. I was a little nervous about the trip, but it was fine: crossing the Severn Bridge at dusk was really quite lovely, and the drive into the centre of town almost completely painless. Less so was my choice of car park, which came to £11.20 for three hours. Yeesh. I took enough project images to make the trip worthwhile, thankfully. Before leaving I nipped across town to check out the Torchwood Plass, then had a can of Red Bull to keep me awake on the journey home. ... Read More »


A couple of years ago I introduced you to Boris. Today, meet Ken:1 I finish house-sitting today. Possibly. The lane looks like this: and it’s anyone’s guess whether my little Micra will make it to the main roads. I’ve waited for passing tractors to clear a couple of grooves, which means I’m pretty late and my ticket for The News Quiz this evening will probably go to waste 🙁 Damn. both named – I thought – randomly, and I have only just now spotted the connection. My subconscious is weird. [↩] Read More »

Driven to distraction

I had a truly excellent weekend in Devon: great company, Pixar, monkeys and Katie Melua. That’s a pretty much perfect combination right there. To keep me entertained on the drive I bought the audiobook of On Chesil Beach. I thought this was a good plan – I always like Ian McEwan, and this was an unabridged version of a fairly short novel. So I set off, windows wide open to stop me burning up, having set up an iPod playlist with a bit of music and a podcast for when I needed to concentrate, then the book once I reached ... Read More »

Not just crows

A local village has an annual tradition of building scarecrows. The results are placed by the road / on public benches / leaning against lamp posts, for everyone to see. It’s obvious that a lot of work goes into them, and I’m sure it’s a lovely endeavour for the whole family. However, driving through this village at 0030 creeped the living shit out of me. *shudder*. Read More »

B0rking the default

In 2004 I spent five weeks driving across America. I don’t remember struggling with the ‘wrong’ side of the road other than at roundabouts, of which there were, mercifully, only two. Once home I pulled onto the right-hand side exactly one time, which scared me enough that it hasn’t happened since. The one thing that broke and never came back, though, was instinctively knowing which side of the motorway I should be on. Not, like, which slip road do I use, but whether it’s the left or right lane that’s for standard, non-overtaking, driving. I regularly have flashes of ‘hang ... Read More »

Uninvited passenger

I drive the road between Stratford and Solihull eight times a week. I have done for over two years. It’s interesting to me how every journey will still bring some new experience. It was nearly midnight, and raining heavily. The wipers were on and working hard, and I noticed a particularly persistent clump of bird shit clinging to my windscreen. I hate cleaning cars, so I quite like it when the rain does the job for me. I hoped I’d have a sparkling view by the time I got home. A few minutes later the clump detached itself and lowered ... Read More »


Just came within centimetres of hitting a deer at 60mph. Damn thing ambled out in front of me, slow as you like, and after a split second of braking I realised it was way too close and just managed to swing around it. Can’t have missed it by much, and the back of my car was going on its own little adventure for a while there. I don’t think it was big enough that I’d have been in danger, but I’d have wrecked the deer, the car and my week. There aren’t any signs down that stretch of A-road, but ... Read More »

Reaching the wedding

I wasn’t ready to drive to London late on Thursday, so headed straight to the Harrow campus on Friday morning. After a full day of lectures I met up with Abi at half 6, then we headed off on the supposedly twenty-minute journey over to our friends in Kilburn. Having never really driven in London before, I came to this conclusion: I have no clue how people do it without dying. It was mental. I’d wait for the exit to clear at a yellow box-junction and have three people overtake. People jumped red lights as I was trying to turn ... Read More »

M6 morning

I’d agreed to drive to Liverpool this morning, on an errand to pick up some hard-to-find tiles for a friend. Driving distances doesn’t bother me much – I just plug in Hettie the TomTom, stick on some podcasts and I’m away. Usually. I was up at 0645, and in the car half an hour later. I haven’t replaced Hettie’s stolen holder yet, so I had a wodge of blu-tak to hold her down. Once attached to the dashboard she wouldn’t boot up. I figured I must have left the power on – satnavs by their nature don’t have auto power-offs ... Read More »

Made it home

After realising I had no contact lens fluid at my parents’, and being warned never ever to sleep in them by my optician, I risked the journey home. A kind RAC man turned me around before I hit the 0.7m of water at Henley-in-Arden, but the motorway was clear, albeit with a large number of breakdowns. The A46 into Stratford was a worry but turned out to be clear for the most part. It never fails to amaze me that, despite truly appalling weather conditions, people are still prepared to roar past me in the last metres before a blind ... Read More »

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