Been back at school for a week or so. There are a lot of new pupils, so I have to go in for an extra day a week. While this does mean some extra money, it also means extra driving. This is not my happy place. I live about half an hour’s drive from the school, and I hate drivers trying to menace me into moving over behind the yellow line.
For those whose countries may have different road arrangements, a brief explanation follows. Some of our roads have an ‘emergency lane’ behind a yellow line. It is narrower than a full lane, and can be a little hair-raising to drive on. Most people (myself included) will move over into this lane if someone wants to pass – the problems arise when someone thinks you should move over, and you don’t agree. That’s where the menacing comes in. I won’t move over if I can’t see the road ahead, such as around a blind corner.
I drive an old skedonk (banger, rattle-trap, call it what you will). She’s a big, elderly three-litre Ford automatic that drinks petrol as if we have our own private oil well. Her acceleration is 0 to 60 in… give me a couple of hours and I’ll get back to you. So she’s not so good at the dodging through traffic bit. I know what she can and can’t do, but some twit in a 1.1 litre plastic box will ride on my back bumper trying to push me out of the way. And this when I’m doing the speed limit plus 10 km. Never a dull moment.
I enjoy meeting the new pupils. I always try to reserve judgement until I’ve got to know them a little. Some shy kids can take a while to start opening up, while others start out full of enthusiasm, but are bored by the second lesson.
Someone asked me once if I don’t get driven mad by hearing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ for the hundredth time. The funny thing is that I don’t. Not so much because of the intrinsic beauty of ‘Row, Row,’ but because every new student presents a different set of problems. They are probably doing five or six things wrong, and the trick is to pick one or two to concentrate on. Pick out every problem and they are quickly overwhelmed. But if you forget about some of the mistakes for too long, they become entrenched habits, and a royal pain to get rid of. So it’s a balancing act. But I love it, particularly when you can see (and hear) them improving.