To shake the malaise that has hung like a storm cloud over my mountainously weird mind of late I was to be away for a couple of nights over the weekend, staying first in Northamptonshire with Adam and then in Wiltshire with Darren and Vicky. I was also hoping to cram in a flying visit for a cuppa and catch up with my son at Oxford en route from my first destination and my second.
In the end I was so exhausted by the driving and the late night backgammon of my lovely time with Adam that when I reached Oxford I realised I ought to listen to my hurting body, head for home and take giant painkillers. An hour or so of conversation and rest with my boy was rejuvenating but only in the sense of readying me to get back behind the wheel.
So my feelings are mixed about the weekend. I’m sad not to have spent some more time with the Sweeneys as we’ve only recently met up again after some years and I know there are so many more discussions to be had and more laughter to share. But I’m uplifted by what I have managed to achieve.
Driving is a curse as well as a blessing. My world is far larger than it was eighteen months ago before I got the car but journeys of more than an hour absolutely fuck my muscles up. Plus I have to deal with those growing numbers of wankers on the roads who seem to believe that nothing bad can happen to them despite how dangerously or idiotically they drive.
On the journey up there was a four or five mile stretch of the M4 that was slowed down so badly that it took an hour to traverse. Once the bottleneck was finally over I saw the reason – a burnt out car crushed into concertina proportions by another vehicle or vehicles presumably already removed. I also saw an air ambulance taking off from the site of the crash where seven police cars still sat. Sobering stuff that made the delay totally acceptable yet within another mile or two other drivers around me, people who had surely also seen what I’d just seen, were weaving in and out of lanes without indicating, overtaking on the inside, and acting like immortals with utter disdain for the mortality of others.
We have a suitable British word for such people: they’re cunts.