It is another one of those times in my life when I am constantly on the road, like Long Distance Clara from Pigeon Street for those of you of a similar age and inclination.
I sometimes muse, as I zip around and around – and around, that had I never learned to drive, life would be so much more different now.
I was told that when I finally did it, driving would open the world up to me and mean that there were so many things I could do that I couldn’t do before.
I was never terribly convinced by this argument, as those of you who suffered through the driving lesson years will attest to.
Perhaps it was because my life had been neither dull nor pedestrian before. It was pretty hard to imagine it being any fuller.
Much as I suspected, the only thing it is fuller of, is mostly being able to do jobs for other people. It is also full of errands and tasks I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing before, and which previously I had a cast iron excuse for passing on to other people, or simply not contemplating at all.
The one benefit of driving that nobody pointed out to me, and which is actually rather nice, is that I am able to listen to the radio a lot more. I do not listen to the radio at home because at home I am always doing something else. When I am driving I am doing nothing else at all, and my ears are free for total listening pleasure.
For example, on the way back from picking up materials for the Christmas Fair today I was able to listen to the Archers, which makes the second time this week.
Today, Helen was aghast in Ambridge Organics, and had to take refuge behind the Borsetshire Blue when Jessica came into the shop little knowing that Helen had been Rob’s lover. Oh yes! Ha!
And as for Rob trying to tell Jess that the reason he didn’t want to settle down in Ambridge with her was because he wanted a fresh start for her sake. Well! Pshaw and Twaddle say I!
I was most entertained by this.
The thing about listening to the radio as you drive is that you invariably come in at an inopportune programming moment, and rarely, if ever get to listen to a programme in its entirety.
I barged into the middle of a programme about the American monetary system the other day. It may sound dull, but I was amazed by an anecdote about George Washington that has made my week.
Apparently, on the day that Washington had to go and have his portrait done for the American dollar bill, he was breaking in a new pair of false teeth made of sea horse ivory. They were very uncomfortable, and this is what gives him that stern and forbidding look on the note.
If he hadn’t have had them in, say if he’d only been wearing his third best teeth, possibly made of string and spit, he’d have probably looked like a pie faced loon, and that might have caused a total financial meltdown.
Do you think the Queen’s teeth are taken into consideration during times of deep economic recession? She looks like she might have been wearing Phil’s teeth come to think of it, if you study the bank notes hard enough. Either that or she has indigestion.
Also, I have spent the last few days pondering the issue of sea horse ivory. Do sea horses have tusks? If so, should they not be known as sea elephants? Or possibly sea rhinos?
I have seen sea horses in tanks in an aquarium. I never noticed they had tusks. Do the sea horse keepers have to de horn them for their own safety? Is it to stop them from being poached by sea horse hunters?
Or to save them from going tusk to tusk in a grisly sea horse on sea horse battle which would shatter all the lovely aquatic style pony dreams of the aquarium going people of the world?
Sea horse ivory. Tell me more good people of the internets. Tell me more.