Most Sundays find me heading North up the M5 to Junction 2 the Dudley turn off and most Mondays find me heading South from the same Junction down to Torquay. So far in the last 5 weeks I have done as much motorway driving as I have done in the previous 10 years. Aren't I lucky I hear some of you say. I notice little things here and there. One of them is how like Frankley Service Station Southbound looks just like I would imagine the entrance to a Soviet Secret Arms dump would have looked like.
So there I was heading south at a nice steady 95k, I give all the speeds here in Km per hour because that's what my cruise control registers in. The road was fairly clear and I could see ahead a large blue truck, 30 tonnes, which I was catching up with. A little way beyond this blue truck was a big, 38 tonne artic, green in colour. The blue truck was doing about 90k and the green artic 85k. I could see that by the time I got up to the blue truck it would have pulled out into the middle lane and I would have to slow down to 90k while it overtook the green artic, us coaches not being allowed in the third lane, that's for cars and vans doing 110k (and more).
So I disengaged the cruise control and slowed to 90k and settled in behind the blue truck. I had by now noticed that the blue truck was a visitor to our fair isle from one of the other countries in the EU and was advertising toilet bowls on the back of his truck. I also quickly noticed that slowing down to 90k wasn't going to be enough. As soon as the foreign driver had got 5 metres behind the green artic he too had slowed down, for some reason that defies all logic, to 85.1k and proceeded to take over 5 minutes to get past the artic, at times coming dangerously close to poor green artic. So close in fact that I slowed down even more to allow space for the bits and pieces I expected to come cascading down the Motorway at any moment following a collision.
God was on our side however and no collision occurred and the blue truck finally made it past the artic. By now there was a bottle neck on the motorway with only the outside lane being available for passing cars, the drivers of which were no doubt blaming me for blocking the middle lane (not my fault, honest). Now the blue truck had started to pull into the nearside lane so I pressed the pedal to get past as fast as legally possible. What did our foreign friend do? Spot on. He accelerated to 100k, faster than I was willing to go, possibly able, I haven’t tried yet. So after spending an other half minute trying to pass the blue truck, still blocking the middle lane, I pulled in behind at a sensible 95k. Go on, have a guess. What did he do now, this visitor to our green and pleasant land, this seller of Teutonic toilet bowls, this maniac who been learn how to drive at the Panzer School of Motoring?
That’s right. He slowed down to 90k so I had to make an other excursion into to middle lane. This time he had exhausted his repertoire and I got past him and, so far as I know have never see him since. Aren’t I lucky?
Nothing to do with the motorway!
The black cat is intruding in our garden and Ginger doesn't like him. Ginger might be 15 years old but he is at least 2kg heavier that the black cat who sensibly moved away before blows were struck.