Friday, 13 December 2013

Invincible Idiots

I so very nearly killed someone on my way home from work last night so I'm going to have a little rant, apologies in advance.

There is a road between the villages of Millbrook and Marston which has two long straights joined in the middle by a level crossing, which in turn is proceeded or followed, depending on you direction of travel, by a narrow, tight, zigzag bend. The whole road, apart from the crossing is unlit. Last night I'd crossed the lit crossing and had entered the first of the unlit bends where my headlights briefly shone across the road instead of down it. As I reached the apex of the corner my eyes caught a small sliver of light reflecting off something moving. Instinctively I pulled further out from the edge of the road, there are no pavements at this point, and thank goodness I did because looking in the rear view mirror I saw the car following me taking the same evasive measures. In his headlights was the black silhouette of a cyclist.

This idiot was riding along an unlit road without any pavements, without lights or reflectors on his bike whilst dressed from head to foot in dark clothing. My heart still flutters when I think how close I came to hitting him. If there had been a car coming the other way and I hadn't been able to pull out I'd have killed him for sure. The light I saw must have been my headlights catching on the wheel spokes and that was the only indication I had that he was there.

Once I'd calmed down I became really angry because, even though this idiot had done nothing to ensure his own safety, I'd have been the one taken to court and been charged with driving without due care or even worse death by dangerous driving. I could have lost my licence, which would have meant my job as I have no other means of getting there, and my only method of getting out of the house. All because it is more important to look cool than be visible.

Call me old fashioned but didn't the proficiency test once warn cyclists to wear bright, light reflective clothing at night? Of course the proficiency test is not compulsory but I'm thinking it should be. I also think bikes should have some sort of registration plates so that people who do stupid things on them can be spoken to and where necessary prosecuted. This is not the first brush with a cyclist I've had, nor is it likely to be the last but it was certainly the closest.

Apart from the journey home it was a rather strange day at work. I couldn't settle and felt a little bit out of sorts so was glad when the day was finally over and I was home again. That's the trouble when I only take part of a week off, I always wish I'd taken the whole week instead.

Today we are completing out Christmas shopping, well that's the plan, and on Sunday I'm going to make a concerted effort to at least get most of the Christmas cards written. We also have to tackle the more mundane weekly tasks like the ironing, grocery shopping and general housework.

Saturday is the big shift out of uni digs and home for Christmas for Andrew. As much as I've got used to the peace of not having him around it is always lovely to have Andrew back home. Of course he will be spending most of his time swatting for his January exams but will also help me with things like putting up the Christmas tree and decorations. Then we'll both spend the next few weeks pulling Smirnoff out of the tree and picking up and replacing all the baubles he's knocked off. When he and Tarmac we both little we were constantly pulling them out of the tree and most morning would come downstairs to find the tree bare, fallen over or both. On one memorable occasion Tarmac had opened all the present too.These days Smirnoff is much more sedate but that doesn't mean he won't have a go at the tree at least once.

Well I can't put it off any longer. Having had such a tough time getting my delivery I'd better go and check it is all present and correct.