Sunday, 3 April 2011

...And then it was a (not so) surprise weekend with Frank.

Brian and I journeyed to Ipswich on Thursday evening.
We managed it without spending extortionate amounts at Clackett Lane services.
We managed to sing a long to every track on every CD in the car.
We managed not to get lost.
And we managed to make it all they way there AND back on less than half a tank of Brian juice.
I was very impressed by my little KA's adverse drinking habits and believe it had a great deal to do with the lack of pressure of the accelorator. No driving in heavy boots for me this weekend.

Frank was shocked to see me before his disappeared to France on a very cheap ski trip. By very cheap, I obviously mean free. Ah, the bona fide perks of being a teacher! This fact won't feature in this blog anymore as I find it highly distressing that while I am stuck to a computer trying to operate a new system, he shall be gliding down the alps attached to two planks with the sun on his face and snow in his hair. And his only expense is his 'off piste petty cash' - AKA beer tokens! Git. But I am not bitter.

A wonderful couple of days in Ipswich in the, can you believe it... sunshine! And then time to drive home yesterday.
I decided that I didn't want to put any more petrol in the car and that I would drive the alternative route home (M25 past Heathrow, as opposed to Dartford - just for future reference) which is 8 miles longer - just to see if I could do it.
The curse of attempting to get home on quarter of a tank is your inability to drive at anything more than 65mph. However my speedo is 5 miles out so Brian and I trundled home at 60. Granny pace.

However it was sunny and I had Radio 1 playing through the speakers and was able to relish the early afternnon sunshine on the A12. The problem with driving much slower than usual is that you notice more. I counted 23 dead pheasants on the central reservation. You think they might have worked out that if the best mate Barry is laying flattened on the road it might be a good idea not to cross. Apparently not.
And besides - pheasants have wings. Perhaps they should fly. Their malting carcasses are not a pretty sight.

Arriving on the M25 I noticed something that I hadn't before, thanks to the courteous drivers on the Ipswich road. Driving at granny speed brings with it shame, humiliation and sheer embarrasement. Over the duration of my journey I was over taken by five lorries and three coaches, luckily they were empty of jeering schoolchildren.
To be overtaken by huge lorries, thundering past is very sad. But you can't see the driver so he might not be laughing/tutting/shaking his head at you - but when the chelsea tractors speed past and all the other little 'normal' people cars, you can see the families gawking at you. Disbelief written all over their faces - "why would you want to drive that slow?"
I'd like to admit that it was a concious choice to make an environmental point, and to prove that we don't need to rush everywhere. But actually I couldn't afford to fill up again.
I have no idea where the garage was that was accidently selling for for 12p per litre thanks to a system malfunction, but I should have definitely found it.

Like most people, my biggest expense is petrol. Liquid replenishment for a car. I can't even afford alcoholic liquid for me. ( I did  however treat myself to a double shot, extra shot, tall, tall skinny caramel macchiato, just to congratulate myself on my lack of fuel consumption)
I feel that I shall be driving at 60 for quite a while.
Perhaps I should get a car sticker "recovering from student debt - preserving petrol. Just overtake"

P.S Frank, please try to make sure you don't break a leg. And make sure you don't miss the bus to come home. Your trip won't be quite so cheap if you have to pay for a flight back!

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