What I call the French disease has spread and is now seen quite frequently on this side of the English Channel. Despite all the signs on French motorways urging drivers to leave two markers between cars, nearly every driver comes up close behind me, almost close enough to see what I have in the boot, before swinging out to overtake. And while all this is going on I am driving along at 70 miles an hour, the overtaking driver travelling at 80 or 90. Tailgating is becoming increasingly common here in England and is one of the faults in other people's driving that annoys me most. Possibly the one that is the most annoying. I don't have one of those bumper stickers that declares, "The closer you come, the slower I'll drive" but that is often what I resort to doing.
Yesterday, I regret to report, I lost it almost completely. OK, so we were in a 30mph zone rather than doing 70 on a motorway, but I swear the guy behind was only 4 feet off my rear bumper. If I stopped suddenly there was no way he could have avoided hitting me. So I slowed to a halt, got out and asked him if he wanted to get into my boot.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because you're driving too bloody close to me!"
Perhaps I was lucky that he didn't smash his door into me and follow that up with a good kicking. And I didn't really feel any better for my outburst.
Nor did he drive any further away from me.
I really do try to keep my cool, but sometimes it just has to come out.
On the way down west we drive past the town called Arundel. I have long wanted to take a p[icture from across the river but have never yet taken the time to stop. On Saturday, I happened to be in a long line of traffic and was held up just long enough to snatch this shot. On the lft of the picture is the Roman Catholic cathedral. There must be others in England but I can think of only two - Westminster and Liverpool. On the right is Arundel Castle, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England.