Monday, April 20, 2009

Maths defies Logic!

Okay, okay I know I haven't exactly had a good track record in the car department of late but it's not my fault. Really.

Did I tell you about the time I managed to avoid a boat trailer on the M1? (That's a very busy UK motorway if you're not familiar with our terminology.) It had detached from the car in front and was wavering about all over the motorway. Yep, somehow I managed to avoid it without causing a pile up. Amazing! I admit though that Young Master Jacob may have had his hands over his face and may have been screaming words to the effect of "We are all going to die!" (He's watched Zulu too many times.)

Right, what was I going to talk about before I got sidetracked on that bit of conceited "make myself feel better at driving because no one else does will do it for me" routine?

Ah yes. Maths, logic....and driving; they do not compute. Well, not in my brain with its thespian inclinations. In fact, to compensate for my lack of mathematical skills I did a maths course a couple of years back which incorporated logic, numbers, circles, squares and other dull and confusing stuff. In fact it was soooo hideously boring I was almost compelled to start listening to classical music as therapy. However, I restrained myself and opted for breaking my chocolate into pieces and methodically counting them into my mouth with the purpose of seeing if 1/3 pie X 250g sq dark chocolate= 1 cm expansion of my tummy. (That's apple pie obviously, not 3.14)

Oh and the answer is "Yes" by the way.

Ummm.. I should say at this juncture my apologies for any weird meanderings in this post folks -the kids have gone back to school today and my mind is all over the place - that's what euphoria does to you. Anyway, the maths course also had some revisionary stuff about working out speeds, distances and miles per hour etc etc for the idiots who had forgotten it. (i.e - me) Therefore, unsurprisingly, I 've now forgotten all the formulas again but I have worked out that whilst in theory it all seemed to make sense, in real life such formulas are complete rubbish.

Take for instance a few weeks back when the clocks went forward (Yes, I know it's a Brit thing - does anyone else do it?) I found myself in the awkward situation of having to be at a tennis tournament on a Sunday morning and needing to travel 43 miles in 50 minutes or risk the wrath of Master Benedict's team mates. ( And believe me those racquets can hurt a botty at close range.) Now theoretically, if I travelled at 48 miles per hour I should have got there with a few minutes to spare. Yes??

Okay I actually got there in 48 minutes. BUT (and it's a big BUT) for most of the journey I was travelling at a speed in excess of 48 mph.

Yes, whilst I was driving along the (nice, clear) motorway I fell into one of those Mrs T dream-like stances and IMAGINED I was travelling at 85mph.... in fact at one point at the height of my dream I IMAGINED that little pointy thingy on the speedometer was even higher. I even DREAMT that Master Benedict was in the back crying "Go faster, faster!!" I DREAMT that small little Renault Clios and those disgusting Smart Cars (which look like they get to the end of the production line and then someone drops a really big hammer on them) were just fading into the distance as I sailed past them. And I'm not even going to mention the cheetahs on the inside lane......

So tell me if you had a dream like that - where for approximately 5 miles you travelled at a speed averaging between 30 and 50 mph and then for the remainder you were like....going really, really fast.... how come I.... how come you.... didn't get to your destination quicker? Uh huh? Someone please explain.....

Humph. What's more none of these speed/distance formulas mention the other contributory factor that so often accounts for your journey taking twice as long as normal. Yep, you know the one I mean....


I'm sorry but people who drive at 30 mph in a 60mph zone drive me nuts! Inevitably, a huge queue of traffic builds up behind these people. Drivers who are normally completely sane start to make dangerous manoeuvres to overtake in the vague hope that they can complete their journey before the end of the century. Passengers throw themselves out of windows screaming "I can't take anymore!" or are forced to urinate in plastic bottles because they know it will be at least another 2 hours before the Sunday Driver looks in his mirror and sees a queue as long as the Mississippi behind him and thinks that maybe, just maybe, he might be causing a hold-up. Yep, Sunday Drivers are sooo slow that even the farmers towing a year's supply of hay behind them consider stabbing themselves to death with their pitch forks because even they can go faster.

It's no wonder farmers have a high rate of suicide - It must be hell for them stuck behind a Sunday Driver. Imagine the top speed in your tractor is 35 miles mph and there's some nincompoop in front of you doing 29mph? The frustration! Instead of having the cows milked, the field ploughed and the sheep sheared bymidday you'll still be sitting behind a 1973 Ford Cortina while the 75 year old occupant is trying to shift between first and second gear and his wife is unpacking the picnic basket in the front seat. Let's face it, in those situations sticking a pitchfork through your brain would be an easy death compared to a long drawn out descent into mental illness and ultimately shutting yourself inside your cab and suffocating yourself on petrol fumes.....

Yes, you can probably gather Iget stuck behind a lot of Sunday Drivers........

Okay there's another missing factor too...


Look, I don't mind about essential roadworks but what about all these roadworks where there's entire lanes closed for miles and miles and not a workman in sight and not even a trace of pothole???


Is it some sort of government conspiracy to give me a heart attack? I dunno....Perhaps at midnight a fleet of helicopters sporting giant floodlights arrives and deposits a team of masked workman who "work" solidly all night long sipping tea and munching biscuits.......

But there IS one thing worse than inexplicable roadworks and that is...



Yep, last Bank Holiday I was off with both the Young Masters for yet another tennis tournament. The roads were virtually empty. Hurrah, hurrah! I was in seventh heaven believing I would get to my destination on time. In fact I hadn't felt so ecstatic since the last time I'd squeezed my arse in a pair of size 10 trousers.

But no, it was not to be.

The greater part of this journey (a regular of mine) is in a 60mph zone with a short duel carriageway (70mph) in case there's a surplus of tractors. But today ALL the 60 mph zone has been reduced to a 40 mph for some INVISIBLE roadworks..... and what happens?

Yep, you guessed it...

I got stuck behind the Sunday Driver plodding along at 38mph.

I want to grow wings.

Copyright Jane Turley 2009


  1. *sob* lost me in your math questions. My brain just jumped out the window. All I know is that I like peach pie. THAT'S ALL I KNOW, I TELL 'YA!!! *sob*

    (don't ever do this to me again)

  2. Barking, I say... barking mad :)
    Made me smile.

    pie + chocolate != size 10 trousers

  3. Thought you drove in KPH, not MPH.

    I'm soooooooo confused!!!!

  4. You are a speed demoness! But you do need some work on your math. :) Funny story. Will you fly fast when you get your wings?

  5. Maybe you'll skip the wings and just strap a rocket on your back! :)

  6. Sorry about the delayed responses everyone...


    Don't worry about getting lost in the maths questions, cos believe me I get confused just putting a pair of trousers on!


    A little bit of madness goes a long way to restoring my sanity...if that makes sense:)


    Well theoretically yes, we do drive in kmh. But everyone still talks in mph. We don't like change, which is why although we implement all the daft rules from the European Parliament we privately do our best to ignore them. It's a matter of principle -know what I mean?

    And don't even mention the war.....

    Mr I,

    I'm thinking wings AND a rocket!

    (Cos you know the engine is bound to cut out....)

    So no hopes of being employed as your accountant then? What about chef or domestic servant? good at those either...

    Official wine taster??

  7. You're on as wine taster. Your math is totally out to lunch! :)


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