New van!

My new van was delivered on Friday. It’s the same as the old van, but those three years have made a small difference. The new one is now connected with 4G, and it has a few extra gadgets and toys.

Confrontation aborted.

Yesterday whilst driving along a road I found another driver attempting to cause a confrontation. The road in question is narrow, has cars parked along both sides with virtually no breaks, and in general when someone is coming through people tend to wait and let them through.

But not this entitled tosser. My van (blue) was about two thirds of the way through. The Range Rover (there I said it, you get the picture now, shown in teal) driver, instead of waiting around 20 yards further back, pulled up deliberately to block the road and attempt to make me pull into a space that was really tight (the one on the left). Instead I pulled up in the position my van is shown in on the illustration below and gestured he moved over a little.

He did. A very tiny amount. I then started manoeuvreing left to try and squeeze past, but the dickhead continued to try and make it difficult.

He then wound down his window, and in a Scouse accent said “how long you been f**king driving”, to which I responded “long enough to know you’re being a prick”. I then wound back up my window. He carried on ranting, so I just turned my music up really loud.

It has to be said that my extremely loud heavy metal music terrified the shit out of him, and strangely enough, he reversed up; realising that whilst he thought he was a bit of a twat; that day he’d met his superior.

At one time I would have got into a full on shoutfest with these arseholes, but these days I just think it’s not worth it.

Bloody idiot.

I have very little tolerance for these people. You’re a professional driver. Driving is your job. It’s your career.

Yes, and for a chosen career you can’t even keep in your mind the height of your vehicle.

Luckily the fines and penalties for these idiots are steep and they can usually consider it the end of their HGV licence, or at least the end of their career as a £80000+ insurance claim is a fairly hefty black mark.

This was a fairly minor strike compared to some of the ones we have around here. Being surrounded by railways we have a network of low bridges criss-crossing the borough and thus these are common events. The worst recently happened a couple of years ago and closed a major road for over a week whilst the bridge was repaired – it’s a brick arch bridge and the structure of the arch was compromised.

Livid!

I’m awake again at an early hour. I’m not really sleeping too well at the moment as I have some rather painful tennis elbow. It’s in both of my elbows although my right one is the worst. It wakes me up at 5am and I have to stretch my arms and do exercises to try and get it moving again.

At this time of year too I have the added bonus of my absolutely awful hayfever – tree pollen kicks it off and throughout late March all the way into early May my nose gets irritated, my eyes start running, and I get my constant niggling sinus ache. I’ve tried all the antihistamines and I have limited success with some of them.

The problem is I then sneeze, and in these heightened times a dozen people look around to see who is sneezing. I suppose it’s good for clearing queues though!

I really am now looking forward to the summer when the pollen level falls (well for me, flower pollen doesn’t really get me in the same way) and I can walk around without feeling like a zombie.

Oh double fuck.

After today’s earlier episode with the Jag breaking down, now I’ve been driving along the M18 and traffic has been totally stopped.

Apparently some solar panels have broken loose off a building adjacent the motorway (IKEA? Next?) and the police are holding traffic.

I’ve been sat here for 20 minutes now.

We’re supposed to be meeting at Dennis’s at 4… It’s 10 to.

Group 4 park like dicks.

A blanket statement, you may think, but actually – judging by the three examples below captured within a very short period they need to prove otherwise. I am currently drawing a blank G4S over these. I emailed requesting they notify their drivers that this sort of parking and just abandoning their vehicles is not acceptable – the first of which is an offence liable to land the driver with a £60 fine and 3 points on their licence – and I have had a response, but the follow up email hasn’t happened.

I don’t know if they are like this all over the country, but it seems our South Yorkshire drivers are just dicks.

Group 4 - Traffic Jam 1
Hillsborough, Sheffield – Zig Zags adjacent crossing
G4S... LR55 YOO... you ARSEHOLES
Bolton-on-Dearne – G4S van parked across entrance
Group 4 arrogance
Fenton Road, Rotherham – Disabled Space

Five things I discovered this week:

1. Tesco’s Mobile Phone Shop in Wath is crap.

2. Volvo drivers are blind. They must be, cos they never see anyone else on the road.

3. Apparently, you have to tune your bass weekly… damn.

4. Something I posted a month ago came true recently… read between the lines… you know what I mean.

5. Micro USB exists… and I thought my new Samsung phone had a bizarre charger it turns out it’s the new standard one for all phones.

Adventures in Shopping

I had to go shopping. First of all I spent a mortgage on printer ink. Why is printer ink so expensive? – I’m now refilling all our cartridges but for the Photosmart we currently haven’t had a spare set. That’s now rectified and refilling will start immediately! I did manage a rather good package in Staples for under £40 for all 6 inks!

Onwards to Parkgate Retail World. A place I can only say I “tolerate”. It causes traffic hell, takes shoppers out of Rotherham, and actually isn’t that cheap… but it is home to Boots and I needed stuff from Boots. Upon entering Retail World I drove my little van up a parking line and saw a space… until a Peugeot 206 convertible driver had different ideas. She had her space, but she decided to reverse out straight into my path… but then stopped when she saw me. Rather than do the sensible thing and pull back into her space she sat in the middle of the lane blocking it expecting me to reverse back up into the queue of traffic building up behind me. “Sod this” I thought and reversed into the space opposite her anyway (small van… manouverable!) with a little farting around, but I got in. She STILL didn’t move!

As soon as I pulled into the space, she pulled back into hers… and I saw the scenario from a mile off – she was going to “have a go” at me. She got out of her car and stood opposite my van staring at the van… obviously she couldn’t see me. She had hair that could only be described as a bright yellow Crystaltips with a home perm and bad home colouring job. Her face was suck-a-lemon sour… and the Playboy bunnies on the back of the car gave me a good indication of her general level of intelligence…

Then… I unfolded myself out of my little van… yes… unfolded. It is rather small… all virtually 6’1″ of me… clad in leather trousers and long black leather coat, complete with black shirt and peroxide white mohican…

Have you ever seen someone scurry off with their face looking at the floor? – no? – well she did… very quickly. I like being scary 🙂

Finally… Barbers Avenue – thank you RMBC at least you can do something right. This junction has been annoying me for a while because it’s too narrow for 2 lanes of traffic so some inconsiderate people think it’s acceptable to drive up the footpath. Today two bollards have appeared on the footpath adjacent to the road thus preventing these kerb crawlers. I don’t like footpath drivers, nor do I like people who park so far on the footpath that pedestrians have to walk on the road to pass their vehicle. I generally find that OVER is preferable to ROUND in these instances… (have you ever seen footprints over the roof of a car?).

Miscarriage of Justice?

… or abuse of powers?

I was stopped today by Her Majesty’s Police for “using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving”.

OK, Had I been using my hand held mobile phone whilst driving, then I would own up, pay the £60 and take the three points… problem is… I wasn’t.

I had Alex in the van with me (we were actually having an in depth discussion about how smelly Tuna Salad is and why we have to drive with all the windows down when he eats it), not using my mobile phone (which I may add was in a rather inaccessible pocket).

The policeman (who I am presuming is illiterate due to the fact that he can’t even fill in his own name fully on the yellow slip), and was possibly the most arrogant member of the police force I have ever had to deal with issued me a fixed penalty notice… saying “I saw you with the phone up to your left ear”

Ohhhhh wait till he sees the Doctor’s report in court! – I’ve been virtually deaf in my left ear for almost 6 weeks now due to the infection and damage.

Yes. I am rejecting the fixed penalty notice and taking it to court, because… well… I’m innocent.