I spent half term camping on the beautiful Morecambe Bay. The boys and I had a great week visiting family and taking in The Lake District. We survived the weather, adopting new windswept hairstyles with glee as we searched the rock pools of Heysham. And so came the time to hitch up the caravan and head back down the M6 to the south.
The journey was eventful. It took 2 hours to do the first 50 miles at which point I was beginning to lose the will to live. Never one to give up I plodded on aiming for respite at a service station so my 6 year old could stretch his legs and I could have a cuppa. When I arrived at the service station I found all of the towing spaces full of cars without attachments despite the large number of empty spaces for normal cars. I felt a surge of frustration such as I have not felt since trying to find parent and child parking as an exhausted new mum.
I went on to consider the other drivers I had encountered on my journey. My combined weight when towing is 3.5 tonnes. I just can not manoeuvre with the panache I would normally exude, however other road users felt it totally acceptable to cut me up, to dart out in front of me in queues and to generally forget that my stopping distance might be a tad larger than theirs.
I was trained in motorway driving as well as in life, to give people plenty of space and to be kind. It’s worked for me and so far I have driven the motorways unscathed.
Help came to me on this journey from an unexpected source. I became friends with the lorry drivers. We let each other pull in and out, flashing our lights and thanking each other. It was a nice gang to be in and one, as a car driver, I had always misjudged.
Politeness, kindness and patience should be part of the Highway Code for both driving and life. On the road as well as in life it is easy to judge someone by their appearance. Perhaps we should all take a look at the world with fresh eyes. Help can come from an unexpected corner.