Tootling around the B roads round here in the car, I’m starting to get used to coming head-to-head with joggers. They’re easy to spot: dressed head to toe in the winter-spring season rural camouflage (shades of grey, black and washed-out white (and that’s just their faces…)), headphones on, oblivious to anything except their pounding feet. Don’t get me wrong – to paraphrase the latest FB status that’s gone viral, joggers rock! But it would be really cool if some of them realised that sometimes I can’t always see them in time to avoid them. I can’t always swerve past Ghost-Joggers them if I suddenly happen upon them, right in the middle of my lane, just as I round a corner, past a stream of traffic coming the other way. Raises the old heart-beat a bit.
Anyway, so I think that’s me established that nowadays I tend to deeply annoy other road-users by taking blind corners at the kind of speeds where I can come to a sudden stop if a hidden, camouflaged jogger suddenly reveals themselves. I am no longer Mondeo Mummy (Mondeo Man but with more hormones). I don’t drive like a granny (jeepers, have you seen the speeds some of these elderly mamas career around the countryside?!), I drive like a learner.
I may now take to sounding my big old car-horn as I go round these corners – it’s not just the headphoned joggers I need to watch out for! I’ve seen a fair few grandparents pushing babies in buggies along these same B roads (to quantify: I drive past 3 or 4 a week. So not hordes, but it’s not an isolated incident). Today’s sighting was pretty typical:
I drove past a wee old man tottering down the road with his grandchild (great-grandchild?) in a black buggy. He was in this season’s rural camouflage. I’m not saying that the buggy was replacing a zimmer frame, but he didn’t look steady or strong enough to hoik the buggy onto the verge if he came across a lorry going in each direction at the same time. Or maybe he was so unsteady because he was walking 3 over-excited dogs at the same time, who were twirling and spiraling round his legs and the buggy wheels…? Never mind, at least the baby was getting some Nice Fresh Air, head roughly car exhaust height, hoovering up all those lovely fumes from cars accelerating and braking round the road bends. Excellent!
Of course, don’t forget that these people walking babies have successfully brought up one or more kids themselves, as they’re wont to remind you, so they’re perfectly safe, responsible child-minders, and how churlish of you to question otherwise?
Meh. I miss getting to 5th gear.