I have touched, within these pages, on the subject of cowardice before but my recent holiday in Devon has brought into sharp relief, for me at least, the differences we all have with the experience of fear.
Now I’m all in favour of people who like to test their limits, who push the envelope (I always manage to cut my tongue with those things and then it spoils the paper and the letter within, nobody really wants a letter covered in red blotchy blood stains. In fact I’m seriously considering buying red envelopes next time), who take risks on an individual basis but what I really don’t like (and I’m sure I’ll get a good many of you behind me here, probably using me as a human shield but hey…) are people who take risks while I’m in the way!
It could just be me (and judging by the length of some of the queues that formed behind me during my break in the lovely rolling countryside last week, it probably is) but when driving down a road (well I say road, it was more like one of those paths you find surrounded by 20 feet high walls of nettles but that could just be my perception, again…) that it is only just possible to squeeze a small thin car along, and you’re are approaching a blind bend (with no little cuddly Labrador to help – I’d left our lovely Chester at home), on the brow of a hill, would you not be more than a little cautious? I was (hence the aforementioned ten mile tailback).
From the number of very black smears of rubber that ran for miles along the roads I had a small kernel of a feeling that some people weren’t. And judging by the number of small vehicles, usually aged museum pieces piloted by some elderly retired person who struggled to peer over the overly large steering wheel and see through thick dark sunglasses, that I tried to follow (thinking that if I could only keep up then as soon a they started to slow I’d be safe) but who vanished at some rate of knots never to be seen again, my fear levels are, on a scale of 1 to 1000, somewhere very high up, maybe 999.
And so I resign myself to this fact but then again what is life without a little a fear (perhaps a lot safer). Enjoy your driving!