Posts Tagged ‘car’

Loud music

Friday, May 21st, 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with loud music. If it’s the sort of music I like listening to, then I love having it loud enough for me to sing along to, but still be able to hear it. If it’s the sort of music I don’t like, such as that really bangy music that repeats the same thing over and over again until your brain feels as though it’s going to explode, then I hate hearing it loud.

I can park where I work. I go in through a gate and then drive down a narrow single track lane to a designated parking space. There’s a pavement down one side of the lane and quite a lot of pedestrians use it as a short cut.

Even though there’s a good wide pavement built especially for pedestrians, guess where most of them walk? Yes, that’s right, right down the middle of the single track lane.

When I pull in through the gate, there’s often someone walking either right in front of where I need to drive, or to the right, in the lane, on the opposite side from the pavement. Most people show no sign whatever of realising that my car is behind them and I’m just about to drive past them, so I think it’s important to alert them to my prescence. I would hate someone to suddenly step out into the lane just as I’m passing them, and get run over.

I used to try and beep the horn really gently and not too loud so that it didn’t make them jump, and so that it didn’t sound as though I was saying rudely ‘Get out of the way!’ That often worked well. People would turn round, see my car and amble over to the pavement. Sometimes it didn’t work very well, and more than once I’ve had someone come over to me and be abusive! I thought that was very unfair, when all I was trying to do was get to work without running them over.

After the last time when a lady was really abusive to me, I decided I wasn’t going to do that again. It was unfair and unpleasant, so I needed to find another way.

That was when I had a bright idea! Now as I get ready to drive through the gate, I turn the music on the radio or CD up really loudly and open the windows. It works brilliantly! Without me having to say anything, or beep the horn, people look round and move aside, and I know they’ve seen me and aren’t going to step out infront of the car.

No-one seems to mind me having loud music, no-one has complained. So I can recommend it as a pedestrian alert that’s abuse free. I like loud music!

It’s beginning to thaw

Friday, January 15th, 2010

At last it’s got a bit warmer. It was a few degrees above freezing this afternoon, and it’s started to thaw. For the first time in over two weeks, I can see a bit of the road I live on. The two ruts in the single track that cars have made in the snow have melted and I can see the road.

My car has been snowed into the drive for over a week. I hadn’t attempt to dig it out as I didn’t want to drive on the 4 inches of compacted snow that covered my road. There’s been a foot of snow in between the car and the road, so this morning when it was quite soft and beginning to thaw, I moved some of it by pushing it aside with my foot when I was wearing wellies. That worked quite well. I’ll have another look at in the morning and see if I can get it cleared so that I can get the car out of the drive.

Guided tour

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

In the village where I live we recently had a meeting about speed limits. All speed limits are going to be reviewed soon, and the Parish Council wanted to make sure that parishioners had an opportunity for their views to be heard by the people doing the review.

During the meeting the speed van that regularly vsits us was mentioned and discussed, and our county councillor told us that if we would like to have a look round one of the vans, the operator would be pleased to show us.

This morning as I went out, I saw the van in the distance but I couldn’t stop then as I was on my way somewhere, but when I came back and was no longer in a hurry, he was still in the village, just in a different position.

So I parked the car, walked to the van and knocked on the window. A small black window opened, and I explained our county councillor’s invitation. It took a minute for the operator to realise what I was saying, but then he opened the door and invited me in. He showed me the equipment and demonstrated how it works. It was fascinating! The zoom on the camera was amazing!

On the screen cars looked so close and so clear that it seemed as though they were only a couple of yards away, when really they were miles away! (well not literally miles but a long way down the road) He showed me how he used the laser and locked on to a car’s number plate then with a click, the car’s speed was instantly displayed on a screen. The operator isn’t allowed to check every car. He has to judge that the car is exceeding the speed limit before he is allowed to use the camera, and has had training in speed recognition.

I always try to keep below the legal speed limit, but when I’m driving past a speed van I go much slower than the legal limit in case there is a margin of error in my speedo. I asked about this, and was told that when a car is manufactured, the margin of error has to be lower and not higher than the actual speed. How they do that I’ve no idea, but it was quite reassuring.

Treacherous road conditions

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

There was a heavy snowfall overnight last night. The car was completely covered. I scraped 4 inches of snow off it’s roof! I had to go into work early today, and left home at 8.00am. Last Monday the sideroad that I live on was very snowy and icy, but once I got on to the main roads that had been gritted they were completely clear. But not today.

There was so much snow that the salt and grit hadn’t managed to clear it. I kept to the main roads and went very slowly and gingerly. I managed the 5 mile journey without incident by being very careful, and had nearly arrived at work when I had problems. Where I work is on a road that has quite an incline, and as I turned into the road only a few yards from my destination, I realised that the car was slipping and sliding and the back wheels were whizzing round and not gripping. It was so scary! I concentrated really hard on choosing the least icy track, and I prayed hard and slowly but surely the car climbed the slope.

My relief at reaching my goal turned to panic when I saw that there was a large van blocking the entrance to the car park. Looking up the road, I could see a car heading towards me down the road, sideways! The driver had no control over his car and it was heading straight for me! I pulled as far as I could towards the van and got half the car off the road, and fortunately the driver managed to get enough control just in time to guide his car round mine! I was so thankful.

Eventually the van driver turned up. He had parked there because he was sliding down the hill and needed a safe place to stop. He was able to back in to the car park to allow me to get in, but there was too much snow and my wheels just slipped. Fortunately there were two very kind men nearby who both pushed the car from the back which gave me enough grip to get into the car park, leave the car in a safe place and turn the engine off with great relief. What a journey! I don’t want another one like that in a hurry!

I didn’t have time to stop and take photos of the lovely snow, I was too busy trying to keep safe, so this is my own tribute to the snow, a lovely glitzy snowflake – as seen on my Flickr photostream

Snowflake ribbon

Lots of snow

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

I woke up this morning to find that the world was white and it was still snowing. I drove to work very carefully and fairly slowly. Once I had left the road I live in, the main roads had been gritted, so there were no problems, even on hilly roads. I arrived in the town where I work, and going up a fairly steep incline, I met a road that hadn’t been gritted. The contrast was incredible. The first thing I saw was a car with it’s warning lights flashing, and I realised that it had slid across the road and into a wall. When I got onto the road, I understood why. It was like an ice rink. It was quite scary! I had to drive very slowly and carefully and soon I met up with the gritted part of the road, so the rest of the journey was fine. It continued to snow all day without stopping, so there was a lot of snow lying around. I was concerned about what condition the roads would be in for my 5 mile drive home. I decided that I needed to go the long way round to try and stay on gritted roads. A couple of times I had to turn round and go back as I met up with ungritted roads covered in ice. One road turned into an ice rink just as it started to go downhill and round a corner. I went very carefully and slowly, knowing that a clear main road was only a few yards away. As I started down the incline, the car slipped and slid. I gently touched the brakes and nothing happened except a grinding sound. That was really scary! Fortunately there was a kerb at the side of the road, so I gently steered the car towards the kerb where it stopped. I was very relieved! I put it into reverse and very gently backed up away from the incline until I could carefully turn round and go back the way I had come. I tried to work out a route home that I thought would be gritted. I could work out which were the main roads, but I knew that I would have to use a road that had not been gritted last time the weather was bad. Sure enough, as I reached that road, it was sparkling and glistening with ice. It goes downhill and heads towards a main road, so I went extremely slowing checking the brakes all the way to make sure they worked and to keep my speed down. Fortunately I didn’t loose control and was able to pull safely into the main road and off the ice and safely home.
The forecast is for ice overnight and treacherous driving conditions in the moring. We’re being told that it’s the worst snow we’ve had for 18 years.

Foggy New Year’s Eve

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

After being so cold yesterday but without any frost, it was completely different today. I woke up to thick fog, and thick frost on the lawn and the trees and hedges. It looked stunningly beautiful. Usually when the windscreen is iced up, by the time I go out later in the morning it’s thawed out, but not today. The whole car including the lights were iced up. It took me ages scraping it off and my fingers were freezing when I’d finished. The car soon warmed up though. I knew the roads would be icy, and visibility wasn’t good so I drove very carefully and more slowly than I do in good conditions. The fog was really thick especially on the road that hasn’t got any hedges beside it to keep the fog away. That’s where I took this photo. The journey was fine, except for the woman who drove behind me far too close to be safe for the distance and conditions. When she refused to drop back and leave the proper braking distance between us, I pulled in and let her pass. She shot off far too fast for the conditions, but she was the only one. Everyone else I saw was driving sensibly. Oh yes, Happy New Year to everyone!

Foggy New Year's Eve

This photo can be seen on my Flickr photostream. Can you see the trees through the fog?

It’s getting colder

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

It’s definately been colder today, but still the predicted snow hasn’t arrived. When I got up this morning, there was frost everywhere, so I wrapped up warm and went out to see if I could take some frosty photos. All the cars parked in the road were coated with thick frosty ice that needed scraping off the windows.
It’s predicted to be even colder tonight and tomorrow, and when I left work this evening, the windscreen was covered in ice again. I can’t ever remember that much ice so early in the evening. I also saw a gritter lorry on my way home, but fortunately it was going the same way as me, so the car didn’t get grit thrown all over it.


Saturday, November 29th, 2008

We’ve had a few foggy mornings and evenings over the last few days. It amazes me the way it can be clear one minute, and then the next time you look there’s really thick fog. The other day I had half an hour to go before leaving work, and when I looked out of the window it was quite clear and I could see right up to the end of the road. When I left work half an hour later, the fog was really thick! Where did it come from in such a short time? I was a bit concerned about the drive home, but it was just about ok. Where the road was screened with tall trees, the fog wasn’t quite so thick, but where the road was open, it was. The last time it was foggy must have been last winter, because I couldn’t rememeber where the fog lights were! I had to find a safe place to stop the car and read the handbook. I managed to find it which was just as well as the ordinary lights behave oddly in thick fog. I was driving slowly so that I was within safe limits for the visibility, but at one point I just felt I wanted some more light, so I put the main beam on. That was a mistake! The light shone on the fog particles and made it look like a solid wall in front of me. I qiuckly turned them off, and continued home slowly with dipped headlights and fog lights, and I was glad when the journey was over and I was home safely.