Today’s blog takes the form of a substantially hefty rant… A complaint! A disappointed, disgruntled grumble following a normally uneventful and innocently short trip to the school gates over lunchtime. Little did I know beforehand that at times I would be taking my life in my hands when an otherwise ordinary trip to collect my child turned into a nightmare of the highway variety.I had decided to take the car rather than walk, as our eldest child was home poorly. We hopped in the car to collect our youngest at half day finish, but a few metres along the road we met the first of our dreaded obstacles. Straight ahead, a builder had parked his car on the left hand side of the road and his enormous storage trailer…. In the middle!! This seems to be a growing trend amongst tradesmen in our area, but residents and pedestrians are so polite around here they would rather travel a mile out of their way than complain at the selfish idiocy of these people’s actions. So I wait… and wait.. .the images of my poor 4 year old standing with his nose pressed against the classroom window waiting to see mummy arrive, disappointed and worried.. kick off a desire to get out of my car and move the damned trailer myself! The builder looks on, and continues to do nothing. And so I join the masses of our polite area and duly reverse, turn and choose an alternative route. Muttering madly to myself, I then make the next turn into the approaching road near the school. As I drive towards the junction, a massive scaffolding lorry reverses into my road at top speed, rattling the poles as he turns and continues to reverse angrily towards the front of my car. Realising the barmy builder is not looking in his wing mirror, I blast my horn to let him know I’m there. He stops dead, an inch from my headlights. A moment’s respite is offered before the man has a think then gesticulates wildly out of his window. Slamming his gears into first he charges forward- just as blindly -out of the junction and away from my bumper once more, to a cacophony of rattling metal and crunching gears! I am both bemused and appalled. With absolute certainty, this man seems a complete mind- numbing fruitloop- not least of which because of his lack of respect and care with children in the immediate vicinity. This second disrespectful exhibition has almost sent me into temporary aphasia; I am so annoyed. A different sort of ‘road rage’ is bubbling inside my head, as I just feel a need to report them all in one big-bulk bundle at the local nick. Whilst I collect my youngest at the school, I am quietly planning my vengeful punishment on these specimens…. “ should I lock them up in a darkened cell, tie them together with strawberry shoelaces and torture them with the theme tune to Postman Pat on a 24 hr loop?”, “should I insist they complete 16hr community service picking up Lego pieces and Hamma beads from every living room floor in the area until they’re sorry?”.. my brain ticks away. Then just as I’ve amused myself enough to forgive these horrors, I’m faced with one last obstacle. A myriad of fellow mums line the curbs ahead of me leaving their car doors open so wide on the OUTSIDE of the road, that it’s impossible to get a very thin man on a bike through the centre! I don’t believe it!! In my despair, all I can do is sit and simply wonder where people’s manners have gone these days? Why is it that when I get both boys into the car, I’ll close all doors and harness the kids into their seats from the inside, not to block anyone’s path from the outside…. But others don’t feel the need to worry about such piffling consideration for passer’s by? Why is it that if we order a skip for rubbish or a party bus for the kids, I’ll ensure neither encroaches on the space of pedestrians or neighbours? But often on the next street, there are lorries, trucks, bricks, mixers and all sorts blocking the public access of all and sundry, regardless. I am not an advocate of road rage. However, in our enormously overpopulated UK island, there are times when people’s insensitivity to our general lack of urban space really pushes the wrong mood buttons out there. By the time we’ve driven home, I’m so exhausted from my 20 minutes’ crazy highwayman dodging, I want to lock myself away in the dark with a cup of tea. Don’t call me when it’s school time … PLEASE!
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