This post is dedicated to my father Seamus, our friend Clint and to all other HGV drivers past and present. They do not have their sorrows to seek. This evening I was reminded again of just how much the drivers of large wagons have to put up with from some of the silly people* on the road. I know my limitations as a driver but one thing I usually do well is pay attention to what's happening up ahead. I believe it's called 'reading the road.'
In the distance I could see two big wagons at a standstill. This is a daily occurence in Cullybackey and it usually happens like this. Cars are often parked/abandoned outside the butcher, the baker the candlestick maker without a thought for other road users. Instead of being tucked tight to the kerb they might sit more than a foot out from it. Of course the butcher, the baker etc. are positioned right on the narrowest part of the street. On the other side there is a narrow pavement, high wall, the usual street furniture and bollards. Along comes Mrs Muggins who isn't paying any attention to the road ahead. Instead she's thinking about making the tea, buying new curtains, her aunt in hospital - anything but the road ahead. She pulls out to pass Mr Arsehole's big Peugeot which is awkwardly parked outside the shops. Tight behind her comes Millie Spide and behind Millie comes White Van Man. Meanwhile Mr Trucker with the right of way is progressing along hoping that no eejit is going to drive into his road. Too late - Mrs Muggins didn't read the road and just kept coming. Now Mr Trucker can't get past her and she can't get past him. Millie Spide is up Mrs Muggins' arse and White Van Man, who wasn't paying attention either because his mobile rang, is right behind Millie. Mr Trucker can't move because there's another wagon behind him and behind that stretches a queue of vehicles. Impasse. Eventually with much manoeuvring White Van Man manages to wiggle backwards out of the way to give Muggins and Millie room to reverse and after ten minutes the traffic is moving again. I looked at the trucker as he passed and his face was a picture of calm. I suppose he'd need to be.
And Ed - was that you I spotted driving up the side of Slemish in a 4x4. Is it not enough that Clarkson and yourself are tearing up the Scottish hillsides, crushing the harebells and several rare varieties of snail? And was that a dead whooper swan I saw caught in your bull bars?
* use your imagination