Since moving to the middle of nowhere we spend a considerable amount of time driving. Run out of milk? Drive. Go to the park? Drive. Go for an ice cream? Drive. Doctors? Drive. Cinema? Drive. Pub? Well, we do have local boozers, but I am so sick of them that if I step into them again I’ll shoot myself in the neck.
When I first learned to drive I loved it. I loved the gear changes, parking, car washes, oil changes – everything. I drove like a career chauffeur: smoothly, safely and considerately. But since moving to the middle of nowhere I now drive like shit. I forget to indicate, I probably drive too fast and our cars look like they have just crossed the Serengeti…twice.
The reasons for my fall from grace are simple:
- I forget to indicate because for the most part there is no one to indicate to. So indicating feels like a form of madness, like talking to oneself, and I have to keep that shit in check or I’ll end up with some crazy facial hair and an anti-social hobby.
- I probably drive too fast because I spend so much time in the car that I just want to get to where I am going as fast as I can so I can spend less time in the car. I want to spend less time in the car because our kids have turned the inside of the Golf into a biohazard with a combination of rice cakes, raisins and carrot sticks. Having our kids in the back is like having two drunken barbarians throwing food around and demanding entertainment. Also, we should clean out the car more but I have to admit that it is low on our list of priorities.
- Our cars look terrible because the Golf has been panel beaten using immovable objects of scenery by DW and the Lupo looks like shit because…it’s a Lupo and it didn’t look great coming off the production line, let alone after being spanked around country lanes for a couple of years. Secondly, we very rarely wash the cars because in winter they just get so dirty, so quickly. What’s the point? Again, priorities.
When I go back to London and drive, I slip straight into city driving. Aggressive maneuvering, ninja parking and timing the lights. I also got that weird thing back that when I see a space in London I automatically think: I should park there, that’s a sweet spot…even if it is ten miles away from where I want to be.
I sort of get that out here but have to remind myself that everything is ten miles from where I want to be.