Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Driving at 60

23 January 2015, 6.30 pm

Sometimes I reach Bristol Parkway and sit in my car and feel too tired even to turn the key in the ignition.  I do not want to drive down the M5 on a Friday evening trying to get to Weston-super-Mare with several thousand other drivers, none of whom really wants to go to Weston-super-Mare anyway (who would?) but all of whom, like me, are too tired to think of anywhere else. 

When people are tired on the M5, they drive at 60.  They drive at 60 because the guy in front is driving at 60.  And the guy in front is driving at 60 because there’s a lorry ahead of him and he can’t be bothered to overtake.  And anyway there’s a guy in the overtaking lane also going at 60 because of the lorry he can see in the middle distance that might at some point require him to overtake.  And another guy going at 60 because he thinks that’s what “variable speed limit” means, like there isn’t a clue in the word “variable”.  And then there’s a guy in the outside lane going at 160 with his lights flashing just when you’re trying to overtake the first four.  And on really special occasions, someone in the outside lane who actually is 160.  (You can preserve people for a long time in the Wess Curntry.  You keep them in caves at a nice constant temperature until they become mature, and then vintage, and eventually blue veins appear, or in some cases a coating of dried nettle leaves.)  (Or perhaps I am thinking of something else.  Cheese, perhaps?)

It takes me ten minutes to muster the energy to exit the car park.  And another ten to get onto the main road.  I hate commuting. 

BUT – it is all in a good cause.  As everyone knows, for CIPA I would happily drive the entire length of the M4, most of the length of the M1 and as far into Scotland as it takes to reach a distillery.  For CIPA I would travel through the night, write through the night, drink through the night, and eat caramel custard tarts till the cows came home (which, where I live, is an actual real event).  My loyalty is infinitely and tautologically boundless. 

I would do anything for CIPA.  Unfortunately, CIPA spends much of its time hoping I don’t.

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