{23/10/2012}   Painting nails on trains

There are a lot of things that annoy me, but one in particular I hate is women who paint their nails on trains or in public places.  The stench from those fumes drives me into a mild fury.  It is bad enough when people inflict the smell of pasties on you but I would rather a train full of pastie munchers than just one nail painter.  It stinks.  Oh, I am getting enraged again.  A nice-seeming woman sitting across the table from me on my morning train shortly before 7.30am yesterday sat down and immediately got out her nail varnish, chatted to her porridge-munching friend and proceeded to paint her nails.  Had it not been a fairly busy train, I may well have flounced off into another carriage, having first shared my views on public nail painting with her.  A shame I didn’t in a way because about 15 minutes later she did a second coat!  Can you imagine my indignation?

I recently moaned to a friend about someone else on a train who had painted her nails and fumed out the carriage.  My friend didn’t seem to object as much as I do and told me a friend of hers, who I know (a seemingly civilised person!), regularly paints her nails on the train.  I was very much outraged.  How can it not annoy everyone?  It is a chemical fume that intrudes up your nostrils and into your head and makes me feel slightly odd.  About three times a year I paint my own nails.  In my home, in private, with only myself to endure the fumes.  But somehow it’s worse on the inhalation front when somebody else is doing the painting.  Maybe it’s a psychological thing, ie it’s your choice to apply pongy paint to your nails so you deal with it.

I know it must be tiresome hearing my rants about things sometimes but I feel that people increasingly annoy me.  Society has changed a lot and I can appreciate we can all make good use of dead time, for example on trains, but why couldn’t pongy painter have done her nails at home and not inflicted the stench on everyone in the carriage?  Surely she must realise it is an offensive smell/fume releaser.

See, this all makes me sound like a moaning mini. But what’s wrong with a good book on the train, something unintrusive? She might as well have been smoking a cigarette, though at least the polish stench doesn’t infiltrate the fibres of your clothing as well!  Oh, to hear myself, I sound like a miserable old woman constantly moaning, but, really, I find nail polish a most noxious, foul and intrusive smell and it really annoys me that people think it’s ok to apply it in a confined space … so there.


My boyfriend and I found ourselves on a Jubilee Line Tube at the same time as the o2 was emptying out from a Michael McIntyre show.  We were seated mid-carriage and there was fidget-room only after North Greenwich.  The Tube stopped at our stop, Canada Water, and we started the, at first, polite “excuse me”.  It then became apparent that we were not making enough progress so, being first of the two of us, I started shouting “excuse me” and having to vigorously push people.  No one got off the Tube to let us out, indeed people were trying to get on at Canada Water.  I got out, just, but Chris got wedged between people moving to clear themselves of the closing doors and his one final shove to break free from the inconsiderate mass got him quite a whack on the forehead from the closing doors.  With a desolate wave, he carried on and I waited for him on the platform, knowing there would be some choice things to say!

Chris was really annoyed, rightly so.  His argument was that the people who hadn’t moved out of our way and had largely been oblivious to other passengers beyond their mass weren’t Londoners (either in the living or commuter sense) so had no concept of Tube etiquette.  I thought this was a bit snooty against non-Londoners.  However, the next day, a Sunday, at around 8.45am, I was on the Tube to Heathrow with a backpack, handbag and small wheelie case.  Squished into the carriage with me were people heading to a mini marathon.  The Tube was as squashed as the night before.  Yet I was aware of people wanting to get off around me, as were others.  We stepped off the Tube to allow them out and only one “excuse me” was heard and it was acted upon straight away.  Without doubt everyone who wanted to get off there succeeded.

I think Chris was probably right, that Tube etiquette is something you are “taught” by using cramped London transport.  I realise that I, and most others, would almost throw themselves out of the way to enable someone to get off a crowded Tube.  I moan furiously about travelling on busy trains and the Tube, but at least people generally let you OFF the Tube.  Getting on it in an orderly fashion is a different matter though and that would be a rant rather than praise.

I find myself quite surprised to think that people not used to the London transport system are a little unaware of etiquette, but how many times have I tutted or sworn at tourists who plonk themselves in most obstructive and annoying places on tubes and trains? Well I guess visitors to London from the UK are also in unfamiliar territory. It makes sense. I am sure I have inadvertently infuriated locals when I’ve been gormlessly standing where they want to walk in their familiar public transport. It’s things like that which make visitors to London think people are rude, but it is an unfair portrayal of residents and workers of the capital.  If someone were lost or needed help, I am confident people would help them.  But while the visitor and the local/commuter have no connection with each othre, the visitoris a source of annoyance to the Londoner, likely to get in their way and be sworn at, usually under the breath.

So, visitors to the o2 who don’t ordinarily use the London transport system, be a bit more aware that transport from big venues is not personalised; not everyone is getting off at your station, which is probably a connection to a railway station so you can catch a train safely away from the jam packed tubes and rude people of London that you have had to endure.  I guarantee you also wouldn’t like not being able to get out at your station and having your head shut in the closing doors.

{14/09/2012}   Plane travel annoyances

At the risk of sounding like a jet setter, which I blatantly am not, I feel a need to share some of my rants and moans about air travel in peasant class:

There is not enough leg room.

I find the seats intolerably uncomfortable.

On short haul flights, people should not be allowed to recline their chairs.  There are few things that make my blood boil on an aircraft more than the person in front suddenly rocketing back into my knees and rendering my already pathetic cubicle of space uninhabitably small and the flimsy and restrictive table even less useful.

Other passengers: noisy ones, ones eating smelly food (a woman sitting next to me once crunched her way through an entire red pepper as if it were an apple,  This annoyed me as the smell, pleasant though it was, was unwelcome at that time and crisp peppers make a lot of noise) and men who feel an infuriating need to sit with their legs wide open, thus completely invading my already limited leg room and sacred, for its very limited nature, personal space.  The odds are, annoying man with legs spread, your legs are not much if at all longer than mine so if I can sit within my restricted space so can you, plus I just know your meat and two veg are not so big as to make it impossible for you to close your legs.

The timing of food.  Despite appreciating good food, I love getting airline food, irrespective of how foul it tastes; I love the surprise element.  It drives me to distraction when the food trolley gets pushed past me, others get fed and I am left until the end, often when the dish I’ve decided on has run out.  I also hate it on long haul flights when you get disturbed from potential sleep to be fed.  My whole eating regime goes totally out the window on flights, I eat far more than I need and I convince myself I need more meals than I could ever normally consume.

Sitting by the window next to two occupied seats, the occupants of which are asleep, when I need to go for a wee.  I hate disturbing people, I hate crossing my legs when I’m bursting for a pee and I hate the idea that you have to almost get permission to go to the toilet by getting the other one or two people to move.

Turbulence.  It scares me.  I am a strong believer that it really is possible for planes to fall to the ground and turbulence is like shaking the plane to dislodge it from its air current thing to send it spiralling to the ground.

Take off.  How on earth is it possible that a great big plane with lots of people on board can whizz along a runway then fly into the sky.  It defies my general understanding of all things and I don’t like it.

When my in-flight entertainment is broken.  I flew nine hours during the day once without my in-flight entertainment.  I was robbed of film viewing and got bored to excess fidgeting levels.

Clouds and bad weather blocking my view.  I like to see land, not for safety or “grounding” reasons, but because I love looking out of the window at the landscape below.

Not getting a window seat.  The best thing about a flight is being able to see out the window.

Ear popping.  I have a friend who went completely deaf after flying on the day of the onset of an exceptionally bad cold.  Her ears bled and everything.  I appreciate this very, very rarely happens and only in exceptional circumstances, but I really don’t like ear popping.

Budget airlines that don’t feed you, unless you’re prepared to pay silly money for soggy sandwiches.

Getting overexcited by free booze on the plane.  Being a bit tipsy is not fun, especially as toilet visits then become a necessity (see above comments).

Plane toilets.  Smelly, cramped and lacking in luxuries.

However, all that said, at the end of this experience you (usually – most obvious exceptions being no-free-time work trips or funerals) have an opportunity to explore somewhere new, which to me can only be exciting, or you get to be almost home, which is also lovely.

{02/07/2012}   First Class travel

                Yesterday, I got the train to Leeds.  It was the 11.03, the first train not disrupted by the Olympic torch and the first reasonably timed train that didn’t require changing trains in illogical places.  I had my £94 train ticket and I walked (pulling a heavy case, largely comprising work clothes, toiletries and equipment) the length of the train.  As far as I could see (15 minutes before departure) all seats either had reservation tickets or were occupied.  Plus, of most concern to me, the luggage areas were full, very full.  So I went back to First Class and got on.

                I have never travelled First Class on a train.  For £25 extra, as was the case on East Coast, I felt a need to think of lots of excuses and reasons to put the additional receipt in to work.  I feel the above reasons were enough.  But I now see why, once you dabble in First Class travel, you turn your nose up at the prospect of peasant class ever again.  I had a large single seat with a large table and plug socket, wi-fi all the way and, probably best of all, food and drinks: sandwiches, posh crisps, shortbread, fruit juice and tea.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

I have, however, travelled First Class (it might have been Business Class but I have had a few short haul Business Class upgrades that have been pretty much the same as peasant class) on a plane before, twice in fact, once from Kansai Airport, Japan, to Manila and once from Vienna to Kansai.  The Manila flight was my most memorable.

I was travelling to Manila to stay with a good friend who lived there.  It was a year after my dad had died and I was feeling a bit emotional.  I had checked in and was en route to the departure gate.  I was sitting on the loo and I heard a tannoy announcement, but as there are always announcements at airports, I didn’t pay attention until I heard “Miss Karina Roberts”.  Panic.  The message was repeated, that I was to proceed to the gate and speak to a member of staff.  I felt sick with worry; I was convinced something unthinkable had happened to my mum.  I did the necessaries on the loo and pelted to the gate where I made myself known, “Ah, Miss Roberts, I’m afraid [panic, panic] we’ve had to change your ticket.”  I didn’t hear the rest, I was unbelievably relieved.  I numbly handed over my ticket in exchange for another and was told to board straight away.

I ended up in First Class and as there were so few people in First Class I had my own flight attendant!  He was wonderful.  I enjoyed my welcome glass of champagne and was offered a vast array of savoury snacks.  All those I selected, he refreshed as I finished them.  I pretty much ate and drank my way through the flight, so much so I arrived in Manila a little woozy.  But that was fine as my friend’s driver collected me, took me to her family house and there I was laid down and given an extraordinarily boisterous yet delightful massage … after all the stresses and strains, ahem, of my journey there.  Now that is how I dream of travelling.  Would winning millions change me?  Nah … well …

I think about things in my blogs that I see are consistent themes, and one of those is moaning about “poshos”, I am well aware that I can be a total hypocrite at times and am only anti-snob until I get to experience posho luxuries!  To conclude – now, this is an obvious and easy conclusion – go First Class, it rocks!  With the added bonus that upgrades were “not available” on my journey so, said with a slight smile, “you might not be able to pay”; free upgrade, whoop!

I have never supported the idea of London getting the Olympics, but I am not going to rant and rave about that.  My issue at present is more to do with transport into, out of and in London, particularly in light of my challenging afternoon on tubes yesterday.
Yesterday I got on the much delayed Central line, it having been very badly flooded the day before around Stratford, with no service between Bethnal Green and Leytonstone.  I was on the platform for over ten minutes (about 2pm) and couldn’t get on the sardine-packed first tube that came along.  Below ground, on a reasonably mild but wet day, it was stifling, even worse on the tubes.  My three or four tube journeys took longer than they should have, it was hot and busy and an entire line (Central) was either partly closed or running an erratic service.  This was not rush hour, though it was half-term.  I kept thinking how much worse it would be during the Olympics.
How long is London going to be even busier than normal?  Will it be sporadic or just a full-on onslaught of chaos from the end of July until the latter half of September?  It’s all very well encouraging people to work from home but there are a lot of us who can’t.  As it happens  I don’t get much work over summer, but even if I did I would struggle to get to work as the high speed trains that I use are largely suspended so the service can shuttle people between St Pancras – Stratford – Ebbsfleet.  The other trains take almost an hour longer and I expect they will also be extremely busy.
As for the bus lanes being made into VIP lanes, what about the buses?  Is normal traffic going to be held up at each bus stop as the buses try to cut into the VIP lanes to let people on and off buses?  What about people who go to work by bus, say in the shops that are expected to flourish financially during the games?  Indeed, are tourists who are in London for the games going to want to go shopping on Oxford Street, assuming the tubes aren’t down, the taxis aren’t full and the buses aren’t gridlocked by Olympic traffic?
While battling through crowds in the stuffy Underground system yesterday, I felt the horror of weeks of challenging conditions.  The tube can’t cope during every day rush hours, there is no air conditioning (it works in the drivers’ cabins on at least some tubes), there are now fewer staff at the gateline and, as happened yesterday, the staff are often asked time consuming questions, in yesterday’s example being asked how to walk from Covent Garden to Wembley as the man had no money for a ticket.  In the end the Customer Service Assistant pointed, “That way”.  I fear that will have taken a good few hours for him to walk, especially in the rain.  But during the Olympics, that might have been his quickest and easiest option.
Somehow the UK usually manages to pull things off, seemingly against the odds.  I hope that this is how things go for the Olympics.  But with travel, I am not confident.  I am already incensed by certain unions securing extra money for certain transport workers during the games owing to the added stresses and pressures.  But, hey, there are a lot – a lot – of other workers who will also face increased pressure and security threats but they either don’t have the backing of influential unions or just see it as something they have to deal with.  In all likelihood I will lose work opportunities, as I suspect will a fair few other self-employed workers.  What about the NHS (many of whom aren’t allowed to take time off during the summer holidays, particularly an issue for those who have children on school holidays), shop owners around the Olympic Village, cleaners, emergency services; there are a lot of people whose working life will be made a lot more difficult, even more dangerous, yet they will not receive compensation for working during the Olympics (as far as I’m aware).
I hope I am just being melodramatic and am just an Olympics-in-London ranter.  Unusually, I want to be proved wrong about something; I want the Olympics to run smoothly, there to be no terrorist or other attacks and for our transport network to be efficient, both for people travelling to Olympic events and those trying to go about their daily business.  Not long to find out, though I am hoping to be out of the country for the end of July and most of August.

{01/06/2012}   Eating food on trains

One of the many things that shocked me about returning to the UK after two and a half years living in Japan was how much food is consumed on trains and how smelly and intrusive it is.  In Japan it just isn’t done, and on a few occasions when I tried surreptitiously to nibble something, I felt guilty, naughty even.  I don’t feel naughty eating on trains in the UK, but I would rather not do it as it adds to the all-round train aroma resulting from being trapped in a carriage, usually without opening windows, with a whole load of strangers with all their whiffs and pongs!

In dire need of sustenance a few months ago, I resorted to eating my egg sandwiches on the train.  I felt ostracised, probably rightly so, for the smell seemed like one great big almighty fart.  Egg or fish sandwiches are probably the most offensive and should be banned, but a McDonald’s meal or a hot pasty is also overpowering.  I have got the vomit comet home before.  I am not a post-booze eater, though I do get why people want to eat after a drinking session.  It’s just that on a train, with no escape, smelling such strong food mixed with the inevitable sweat and booze stench makes me feel a touch queasy.  I also don’t appreciate food remnants on the seats and floor.  Listen to me, I shouldn’t be allowed onto a public forum like a blog, it brings out the moaner in me; something I would (should) otherwise keep restrained!

I am writing this and hearing my Victor Meldrew gearing up for full rant mode.  If I were in charge of trains (I know this applies to all public transport, it’s just that I get more trains than any other mode of transport), I would have a food-free carriage in addition to the quiet carriage.  There would then be a dining carriage in which you could eat your lunch, whether purchased on the train or brought yourself.  The only issue, as ever, is the security issues of leaving your bags and seat unattended.  Maybe I could ban fast food outlets at train stations?  Maybe that would make me hugely unpopular?  Oh, and the other night, I bought a Leon’s superfood salad (I did go for a less smelly option, ruling out the salmon) on my way to a dinner time train.  I had to eat it on the train.  Hmmm, I am seeing flaws to my ban-fast-food-outlets-near-stations proposition too, there are times when you can only really eat at a decent time by eating on the train!

Maybe I should just stop moaning and eat my egg sandwiches oblivious to how stinky and unsociable it is.  Maybe having a public rant about it is enough to keep me quiet for a few more smelly train journeys!  I wonder perhaps also if our varying standards are what make we Brits, for example, a diverse, relatively unpredictable population; more independent and less rule-bound than, say, the Japanese.  There, not so ranty after all, there’s hope for me yet.

{26/04/2012}   A plan B evening

Work didn’t go to plan yesterday.  Neither did the trains.  But my treasure of a mum drove over to my flat in the early evening to stay with my cat and Chris had almost ready my perfect dinner: bubbly followed by chicken kiev (a recent obsession) with spinach, potatoes and oyster mushrooms.  Then key lime pie.

Fortunately I was working with a friend yesterday, though unfortunate for her as my day started with aches and pains and I never got into the steno zone for the entirety of the day’s c230 pages.  The job sat from 10-6, our highspeed trains had been electrocuted (or similar) so there was commuter carnage and I have another job at 10am today.  I would have been at home for a mere nine hours and I was shattered anyway, hence my plan B.

I ended up with a cracking dinner, chirpy company and a lie-in before work.  Admittedly I have a lot of plan b stuff here … but no work tops.  My choices were yesterday’s slightly (very) whiffy top or an XL man’s t shirt.  But then I found the sad remains of my squash kit, and a clean black polo style top.  Clean and my size is promising, though hardly smart!

Unsurprisingly I have no point to this post and it is not going to suddenly become engaging.  Hold on, I’ve thought of a point!  Normally I pack too much for overnight stays but this last-minute plan has made me see excess packing is unnecessary!  I had borrowed night clothes, a borrowed laptop for work, my HTC charged on a spare BlackBerry charger and I am writing this, with some difficulty, on said HTC.

So thank you to all the people who helped me out last night.  It is also nice for me to have managed a bit of overnight spontaneity, I feel marginally exciting!  Hurrah for plan B being better than plan A!

Yesterday, carrying a heavy backpack and shoulder bag, I ran from the number 45 King’s Cross bus terminus at 3.08 pm, ie the other side of King’s Cross to St Pancras, all the way into the front of King’s Cross and out opposite St Pancras. I got to my part of St Pancras at 3.10:29 and onto the train just after 3.11, when the doors shut and the 3.12 set off. It was an achievement, mainly physically. But it wasn’t pretty, I am not designed for running.

The night before, I had watched Run Lola Run for the first time in years. Unsurprisingly given the title, there are a lot of scenes of Lola running. She is a young, relatively fit looking actress with far smaller boobs and generally less weight to carry than me. Her running was good to watch. Yesterday, possessed by the idea of catching that train, I ran so fast I had to grab my backpack tightly, my inadequately harnessed boobs even tighter and I know I walloped at least two people dithering in the path of my mission.

Sitting on the train regaining composure and finishing off my much needed emergency energy boost biscuits, I contemplated running for public transport. Missing my train would have meant a half hour wait for an indirect train, thus depriving me of 45 minutes at home. At work, I hurriedly finished my job, aware there was a chance I could catch that train. People who commute by train are largely guided by train times when it comes to deeming it the right time to leave work for the day. It is a distressing moment or two when an additional piece of work or a glitch dictates you are committed to, with half hourly trains, another 28 minutes or so before it’s worth your while going to the station. Bad karma.

My most heroic transport related run was through Gatwick airport to catch a flight that I would have caught fine had there not been massive queues through x-ray after a series of London transport worst case scenarios. I had asked a few passing staff whether I should push to the front but I was assured all would be ok. All was not ok. I did eventually push in as I could hear my name being called. There was no pride in my announcing, pointing to the ceiling from which my name was echoing, “Er, that’s me”. I ran like the wind to a far reaching gate (I am cutting this story short but it was worse than it will seem), sounding like a wheezing, rasping lifelong 40-a-day-er. The attendant said they were making moves to retrieve and remove my case so radio calls were made … while I fumbled around, dripping – I do not exaggerate – with sweat, looking for my boarding card. It transpired my boarding pass was not about my person. A call then came from security that my pass was there. The thought of running back was too much for me. Fortunately, before I had to bravely offer to return, security announced they would bring it by buggy thing. It arrived, I was still a red, sweaty, rasping mess. Then I had to board the plane, the last person, and endure the annoyed stares. I forced my explanation on the man next to me. It was an explanation far further reaching than I have detailed here! We then flew over my road a mere matter of minutes later, the one I had leisurely left four hours earlier, rightfully optimistic of time to kill in the Gatwick shops!

In conclusion, running for public transport is extremely stressful, in my case horribly unattractive and it only just makes the run worthwhile by the time you catch said transport! Mind you, I’d have been more annoyed to have just missed yesterday’s train than having just caught it!

This morning, to make my short working day reap at least a little financial reward, I caught the 07.14 slow train from Folkston to London, c1 hour 50 minutes.  This train takes twice as long as the high price high speed train but there are mornings (I just want to get home on the way back so that direction always seems long) when I am happy for it to be an even longer journey.  Yes, really.

I am almost an hour into the journey now, I have done some writing, I am drinking coffee, it’s a lovely sunny morning, I’ve seen lambs, horses, cattle, flowers, signs of spring emerging further, farms, oast houses, dog walkers tramping across fields, misty lakes and I was the only person in my carriage for the first 20 minutes.  As usual I also have a bag full of train activities.

Commutes are generally horrid.  The journey home is by far the worst for me because everyone is tired and smelly, public transport is usually too hot and everywhere is busy.  This morning’s commute progresses with the rising sun, the waking up of towns and cities.  People are quieter, no one is sitting next to me yet and we haven’t had as much time to have had or be having a bad day.  Yes, yes, I can see that there are days when you’re too tired to function, in winter it would still be dark, train delays, leaves on the line, people standing in the aisles.  Yes, hideous, and I would have posted a rant no doubt.  But for now, just allow me this misty eyed love-in for this commute.

I used to commute from Whitstable.  As a general rule I enjoyed my commute in to work but in the morning AND the evening, I always got a seat.  But doing c1.5 hours each way most days was tiring.  I don’t usually work five days a week and I don’t (especially then as I wasn’t working such long hours, as will be the case today) usually have to travel in return rush hour so it wasn’t too bad for me.  But there were days when I could barely stay awake, when the train was late, it once took three hours to get back, in snow it was embarrassingly bad and by the time the train got to Bromley South it was packed and I get seat guilt, which I really don’t need to endure.

Overall though, I do prefer the high speed train because 55 minutes is a good time to get home and a good time to get things done.  I always have a table and I have written many a letter and blog post, read books and magazines, caught up on emails and texts, completed editing my work on the way home; it gives me time to do things I always claim not to have time to do.

When I returned to London after my six and a half months living in Whitstable, I genuinely missed my commuting time.  I had vowed to get up at the same time and read before getting up and getting ready for work.  Did I?  Yeah, right, not even once!  In my ideal world (assuming I had to commute) I would have a one-two hour commute to work (I can do mornings.  It may not be pretty and I may struggle but I know I am at my best in the mornings) and a ten minute commute home.  Currently, I am slowly waking up and enjoying my morning.  When I get to London Bridge I will have to change for a Charing Cross train, which will be busy.  My commuting love will end round about then.  But as I’m being a cheapskate this morning, I will have a c25 minute walk to where I’m working and that will be partly through St James’ Park so I expect to have a second pre-work high.  I love London parks in the mornings prior to the tourist/lunch break groups taking over.  I will keep quiet about my post-work train dawdle back home!

I am pretty sure that I haven’t ever driven somewhere without someone else’s driving being a cause for a tut, an expletive or a rant. Here are some grrrr driving situations:

People who don’t indicate. It really isn’t challenging to flick the little indicator wand, it’s right by the steering wheel for goodness sake! Though if you smoke or speak on your mobile with your indicator hand, I can see this could be a problem.

People (I am cautious using the word “drivers” as some people really aren’t, can’t and don’t) who are clearly concentrating more on smoking, their mobile phone, eating, applying make-up etc, than driving.

Middle Lane Owners’ Club. Seriously, get into the inside lane and pootle there. Oooo, that gets a double grrrrr, maybe even a triple.

Teenage boys at the wheel of Corsas or whichever Peugot their crazy parents buy them and which they then kit out with sub woofers, alloys, etc. They drive like idiots and have no comprehension of what turds they’re being. I did once have a minor smug victory over a teenager in a pimped Corsa. I was quite correctly in the outside lane, going just over 70mph, overtaking. I have a 2.5 BMW compact, a car I know with certainty is higher spec than a Corsa weighed down by woofers and kit. Said teenager suddenly appeared in my rear view mirror. And I mean the teenager did, not the car. He was as close as if he were parked. I was enraged but gave myself a chance to think. No point braking as (a) he wouldn’t have seen my brake lights so (b) he would have gone into the back of me. So I floored my car. Once engaged (pissy automatic gear box) I left him for dust, overtook the remaining cars and reduced speed in the inside lane. Up yours, you little upstart, you wouldn’t even get insured on my car. Teenage boys are possibly a triple grrrr.

Saaaaf London dealer style driving, usually at great speed, one hand on the wheel, the other arm resting on the door’s window ledge, aggressive and prone to finger action as they overtake you at 40 for going too slow over 20mph speed humps. Fear factor keeps expletive rant and reply finger raising to a minimum on my part.

People who wear gloves to drive and who drive bolt upright as if driving Miss Daisy herself in a suitably old upright seated car.

People who pull out and cause you to brake abruptly.

People who drive on your backside.

People who drive on country lanes like they’re one-way but say it’s ok because they know the roads. You may know the roads but you don’t know the traffic. Idiots.

People who drive way, way below the speed limit when there is no reason to.

Some elderly people should not be on the roads.

People who knowingly get in the wrong lane with a view to cutting you up or pushing in at a later point.

Taxi drivers who nudge out so much you have to let them go, but who then do an unexpected U-turn when the other side of the road isn’t clear thus pulling in front of you and blocking your way. One doing that was the closest I came to having a nasty accident on my motorbike.

White van drivers. A stereotype where the likehood of it not being accurate stops me feeling bad about making sweeping generalisations.

People who barge through single lane areas (eg where there are parked cars) when they don’t have the right of way and make you reverse when their stopping would’ve been possible. Nobs.

People who zip into the parking space you are poised to manoeuvre into.

People who don’t use lights effectively or appropriately, normal lights and fog lights.

I could go on but I’m getting wound up with “driver” incompetence incidents I keep thinking of!

et cetera