Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Friday, 28 September 2007

Speed Fiends

Either I still have Immigran or Syndol in my system , or I am so laid back by the ending of the Day Job for the week . Whichever , I sleep again until the alarm at seven forty five . Well rested , I feel somehow that I have missed some of the day , slept the time away . No matter that given half a chance , or even quarter of a chance I will happily lay down my head wherever I can and sleep an hour or three , afternoons , early evenings , whenever the chance arises . But , in the mornings , it seems something has been wasted .

Still no laptop .


I fret this morning about the car .
The lettter from the Speed Fiends course ( organised by Drive Tech , and properly named a Speed Awareness Course ) makes it clear that those arriving late will not be admitted , indeed those arriving unfit to take participate properly by way of excess alcohol or drug consumption , will likewise be sent away and their file returned to the Police Authority . And the dreaded points added to the licence , no doubt . Thus , my agitation about being held up in trafic , getting lost ( despite checking the route yesterday ) etc etc , is increased last night , when , attempting to do a cat call at seven pm , the car will not start . A follow up to having to call out the AA a couple of weeks ago , pre Edinburgh , when it failed as I was driving . A coil pack , I am told , but no evidence for which one . Keep going till it happens again . And here we are , the night before Speed Fiends and its going to drop dead right when I need it most .
I turn the key enough times to flood the engine , decide to abandon it and push it out of the way so we can take D s car to the CatCall , and , one last turn and it takes off.

And , miracles , it starts first thing this morning , and due to my Lateness Anxiety Issues , I arrive at Speed Freaks with a good fifteen minutes to spare . I have brought a novel to read in the car , but as I approach the parking area , there are two smartly attired men waiting to greet me , and advise me about parking . This is a nice touch as they are polite and welcoming and let me know that once I have parked there is coffee waiting . I decide to forego my fourteen minutes reading and walk on into the waiting room . Shock , Horror ! I am not first there , as usual at such things , but the room is almost full . Of men . Sheepish , embarrased , pink cheeked , smiling and glancing furtively at the latest newcomer . But they are all men .
I can't face coffee . I sit and the man next to me smiles . Hard on my heels another man joins us , and breaks the silence , chuckling " well here we are then , the law breakers" . I try hard not to giggle myself and start to look around . I cannot believe that all of these people have arrived so early , many of them look as if they have been there quite some time .
The two welcoming men introduce themselves and check out our ID all the time smiling warmly and offering drinks . I start to relax though I still wonder , am I the Only Female Speeder in Northumberland . And then oh Joy , in walks another woman , and , would you credit it , someone I know slightly through work , from around thirteen years ago !

We all file up upstairs to computer desks and a special tutorial is arranged for a man who has never used a computer mouse before . Much of the initial part of the course involves an interactive test , the results of which are handed to you and you can see whether you have problems with speed generally , thrill seeking , reaction times to hazards , concentration , tiredness whilst driving etc .

I come out with good results on everything bar concentration and this is accurate . I decided to answer strictly honestly rather than massaging the results , and have to admit that though when aware of speed limits I always do slow right down to the limit , my problems arise when Im daydreaming . On the day I was caught on camera , doing 34 mph in Haydon Bridge ( like many of the others on the course , interestingly ) , I was never even aware of the camera , which caught me leaving the town . And though my road tests where I had to assess the rights speeds and distances etc were fine , I clearly need to concentrate more and drift off less.
I saw from my fellow Fiends that some of them had definite Issues of speeding , generally driving faster than average , closer to other cars , and in the case of some of them, using the car to " deal with emotional issues " . Now there's a thing . ( I scored low on emotion , which apparently is good . probably accurate , I'm not one to swear at other drivers , except D when he is frightening me with his Speeds , but thats another story ) .

The time flashed past , and fascinatingly some of the men started to get a little stroppy by the end , challenging the facilitators on the letters from Drivetech , and critisising the way they had not initially been offered the course rather than points on their licence . These points were all handled admirably and as a trainer I enjoyed seeing how they were manged , with a smile and a confident response .
As we all left , I joked with M about how we would all drive off at a much reduced speed , but in fact it took me several minutes to get any speed at all , thanks to my dodgy coil . Dead as a dodo. How embarrasing ......

Later in the day , I feel minded to make Rocky Road , a Nigella cake/ biscuit item which seemed fitting .
And now Im gearing myself up for more acupuncture .

1 comment:

Pumpkin said...

Hey hunny, thankyou for the lovely comment you put on my blog, it was very sweet. I know the fear about migraines, I do, but the doctors have told my friend that there is only a SMALL chance that the two were connected, so please don't worry too much!!!!

Also, it's my 30th today and I wanted to come by and give you a virtual cocktail...not as good as the real thing I know, but as I can't fed ex you the real thing, this is the next best thing...lol

Have a 'Blue champagne on me hun and a truly great weekend!!
xx

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