School run in reverse

I was on the school run, keen to get my daughter to school and my son at pre-school so that I wouldnt be late for the second day in a row getting to my cycle instructor training (a great part-time job to weave in school term time but still a bit of a headache getting anywhere fast at the beginning of the day).

I turned on to the road and was only a few hundred yards from the school and almost past the parked cars, when a guy in a BMW steamed towards me. He could have waited, but he didnt. I could see the school entrance, so near yet so far, with the Headmaster standing on the pavement to welcome pupils in. Yet this arrogant BMW man was determined to block my way.

I sat there for a while playing a stationary version of chicken. I was in it for the long haul in the battle of wills but then realised, the clock was ticking, the diesel was diminishing and the Headmaster was waiting. So, once again I felt like I was having to be the one to compromise in deference to the bigger picture. The fact I was submitting to a guy knocking around a big BMW without any passengers who was within a small reversing move away from a clear road did not sit well with me.

So extremely reluctantly I shifted into reverse. Aware that my daughter may be observing me submitting to an on-road bully, I decided to test his patience.

Like Mater from ‘Cars’ I am quite a quick ‘backwards driver’, but I figured I had just enough time to act out the granny reversing routine and inched back so slowly, that his bumper was virtually kissing mine through his impatience. Once I was in a position to let him past, I flicked up the most satisfying ‘up yours’ finger yet. Not that I make it a habit, but use only when there is no better way of communicating to another person that their behaviour equals the finger.

Jeremy Clarkson is right about BMW drivers.

But when I pulled up alongside the Headmaster, school memories of naughty behaviour made me think he was ready to tell me off, but perhaps he has seen worse on the school run.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

The scenic route

On a Wednesday I leave work early to pick my daughter up from school. It was a bad day to leave early. I am running late so i text my friend to ask her if she can collect my daughter from the bus-stop, she replies with news that she is witness to a bad accident and has asked another friend to pick up her children for her plus my daughter. I knew it was bad because she said she was waiting for the fire engines and paramedics to arrive. Turns out they had to cut the roof off the car to get to the elderly passengers caught up in the incident.

On my way back as i go round a bend, a lorry skims the side of my car knocking my wing mirror and scratching my wheel arch. Baby boy instantly asks ‘whats that noise?’ as i try and re-set the wing mirror. As i approach one of the main towns on my route, the police have cordoned off the main high street so that none of the traffic can bet through. Then ensues a mystery tour led by myself, a van, a lorry and umpteen cars trying to find an alternative route. It involves a couple of U turns, a discussion with an elderly lady about the best alternative route and then curses as we realise the first option is closed for maintenance.

I end up following a massive truck along a very narrow country lane and a very old bridge. I had no clue as to where the road would take us, but somehow we discovered the main road again, which had taken us the other side of the town on a diversion that took us through some glorious countryside that i would otherwise miss.

Sometimes its not a bad thing to follow an unplanned diversion, especially if you take the time to look around you.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.