I am aware that it is many moons since I last offered you any advice, faithful followers, so I shall try to make up for it today by telling you how to atone for one’s sins against society.
As some of you may know, I had the misfortune to go over the speed limit whilst visiting somewhere ‘oop north’ a little while ago – actually, it wasn’t so much exceeding the speed limit as getting caught that was the misfortune.
To make up for this crime against humanity, I was offered the opportunity to go on a Speed Awareness course, thus avoiding three points on my (clean) licence, although it would also cost me the equivalent of my annual wine allowance (I can imagine you all frantically trying to work out whether that’s true!).
Today was the day of my penance, so I donned my hair shirt and headed for the punishment centre, which also had many other groups meeting up for other, non-criminal reasons.
Upon arriving, I asked for the ‘I drove too fast’ room (the receptionist knew exactly what I meant and smiled, as one should when the LSG makes a little joke) and was given directions: ‘turn right after reception, then go to the top left corner, take a seat and someone will fetch you.’ The top left corner turned out to be a room where Rolls-Royce was holding a meeting. In fact, I needed the top right corner. The receptionist had obviously failed her Brownies Orienteering badge.
While waiting to be fetched (along with about 30 other people), I watched some other attendees come and get lunch from a buffet set out in the centre of the main hall. As well as the usual selection of sandwiches, chicken on skewers, samosas, mini burgers and sausage rolls, there were also two dishes of macaroni cheese (or mac’n’cheese as it is so trendily called these days). One chap in the queue – who should really have been in the Slimming World line – made a point of saying loudly how much he disliked mac’n’cheese and that was the only thing he wouldn’t eat and then went on to prove it by loading his plate with double of everything else.
We were eventually called into the Speeding is Bad Room and the afternoon could finally begin. (I could have gone to the morning session, but it started at 7.45 am and my alarm clock doesn’t wake up until after 8 am.) All went well as we settled down and I turned into the table show off because I got all the speed limit questions right (so how come I got done for speeding, I asked myself!). I also spotted more hazards than anyone else when they showed us a ‘hazard perception’ film, but I lied this time because I didn’t want to be seen as the class show off. However, it was slightly worrying when a few class members said they’d spotted around 5 hazards while everyone else had spotted at least 10 (and one of us, who will remain nameless, identified at least 17, including the roadside blue bin that no one else spotted) – I don’t want to be anywhere near any of those drivers when they’re on the roads!
My main disappointment was that there were no free biscuits and coffee as so many people had told me there would be; only water and mint imperials (and I accidentally chose the sparkling water, which I HATE!) – oh, and I didn’t get a certificate saying I’d passed with flying colours! I feel I should have got at least a diploma for spotting the most hazards but, apparently, some people don’t even admit to going on these courses! I’ve told everyone!!
I have now paid my debt to society – and I have an email to prove it. I drove home very carefully and well within the speed limit, especially when a police car tucked itself in behind me just as I was about to cross over a hatched area to break into a line of traffic … 😊 Drive safely!