I did a lot of driving last weekend; down to the coast, back home to meet a couple of Sunday commitments, back down to the coast and then home again.
Normally my husband is in the driving seat; not because I am a bad driver, but because he is a terrible passenger. Last Wednesday however, he made the painful discovery that, whereas washing detergent is great at cleaning clothes, it is not recommended as an eye bath. We spent an amusing three hours in A&E where he adequately demonstrated his command of basic Anglo Saxon to the pretty nurses, and he emerged with a raffish eye-patch and instructions not to drive for a week.
Before I agreed to drive the hundred miles to the coast with him beside me a full and frank discussion was required and the results were illuminating.
We have been married for fifteen years but I had never before realised that his annoying habit of informing me that the road is clear or that two cars are coming or "watch out for that pothole", all of which I have seen clearly for myself thank you very much; stem from his upbringing. Apparently, in his family, it is required for the passenger to provide extra eyes and to be on the lookout for hazards. In my family, it is the height of bad manners to comment or offer advice unless specifically asked.
But you give a little to get a little, and in return for his promise to keep quiet and not keep putting his foot on an imaginary brake, I agreed to slow down and drive at a sedate 65 mph.
It proved to be a much more pleasant way of travelling; just tootling along, allowing all the Ford Mondeos to whizz past doing eighty and more, occasionally pulling out to pass a lorry doing fifty-five.
Surprisingly, it didn't seem to take any longer to get there. Maybe five minutes or so and the whole thing was much more relaxing. In fact, my passenger even leaned back and closed his good eye a couple of times.
Given that I'm at the scratchy, irritable stage of my bi-polar cycle at the moment, anything that reduces stress is good. What's more, it saves on petrol too. So if you were on the A14 over the weekend, cursing the elderly Volvo in front of you resolutely doing five miles per hour less than the limit: I can only apologise. But, hey, relax; chill: your stress levels will thank you.
A Moodscope member.