I’ve been reading a lot about “smart motorways” lately. The way they’re being touted, they’re motorways where you will always be caught speeding. “If you drive over 70mph you WILL be caught.” I was driving into the dawn this morning on the M6 and M1, and it felt much like business as usual. People were still passing me at 80. All it meant was that I had a little less focus on the road in front and a little more focus on the sides of the road and my speedometer, looking for those cheeky dangerous little revenue generators and making sure that the numbers were in my favour and I hadn’t drifted over 70 in tune with the empty road. It definitely keeps you alert. No chance of dozing where the consequences of a slip are a fine and an interminable course where some chinless wonder earns his crust by showing you pictures of dead people. There are a lot of cameras now, all lined up on the side of bridges, feathering the nest, buying us guns with the careless-dollar.
It was a beautiful dawn. I only rarely see the dawn but there it was, unavoidable, directly in front of me for a moment as I came through the midlands. I was spanking it to get back to the van hire in time to return it, but still had time to say “oooh”, before flooring it and turning south. (Obviously I stayed within the legal limit at all times. Rules and laws are very important to me. Safety > people.) I arrived at the van hire two minutes before the deadline and the guy was waiting outside – he needed to pass it immediately to someone else. Charlotte fed me curry last night and I didn’t open the windows on the way home. Whoever rented that van, I’m sorry. Perhaps that’s the reason they haven’t refunded my bloody £100 deposit yet. I gassed their next customers.
I’m lucky to have the friends I’ve got. I get great company AND good food. Farty dinner via Charlotte as well as a warm bed, company and kindness. Tasty breakfast via Emma, as well as cash for food, brilliant company and laughter. I tried to use my last tenner to pay but she wouldn’t let me. Instead she bought me sweeties and thrust some cash into my hands. Damn. I’ll do the same for her before long. That’s how it goes around in this fellowship. When we’re working we help out the ones who aren’t. All these beautiful stubborn low-income kind people with more empathy than acumen. Then I got home, and Brian bought the bits for and made a chili that’ll last a few days.
Now I’m hoping it rains itself out by Monday, as I’ll be back on Ahmeda, my lovely orange bike. Next week, around rehearsal for West Side Story I’ll be talking to a financial advisor (if they’ll take deferred payment) about trying to sort out my whole twisted mess of a situation once and for all. For now I’ll just enjoy this chili, drink no alcohol, watch crap films and hope that I don’t get any letters in the post about this morning.