Category Archives: Motors

The Parable of The Short Tempered Christian

Every night I have to cross the Second Severn Crossing to get home. This should be easy but every so often you get stuck for no apparent reason. Tonight was one of those nights.

I car-share and only have to drive every third week; this week is one of those weeks.

My 2 colleagues know I’m a Christian and I’m often asked about my faith. I’m only to happy to share my faith with them and answer any questions they have. Tonight was not one of those nights.

As we queued to get to the toll booths we had people trying to push in front of us. Some just pushed and others indicated. Now I had one of those days where things have gone well but something started the “going home whinge”. By the time we got to the toll queue I was in a very bad mood but for no apparent reason.

A woman in the lane next to us had tried to push in front of a few cars in front of us with no joy. People in the lane on the other side had just forced their way in and I was getting annoyed. I made it clear that I was going to move forward relentlessly.

The colleague next to me asked why I wasn’t a “Christian Driver”. I pointed out that I could find no eveidence in the bible that we had to be. I said I’d seen nothing about giving right of way to someone else’s chariot or ass. However I relented and let in the lady in the next lane and saw that a car in front of her had broken down.

I tried to brighten my mood but could only do so for a short time. My colleagues started to playfully suggest that I should do something to get them home quicker, as they would if they were driving. I pointed out that this was slightly impossible (in slightly different words) as the lanes were all congested.

Then the people who had changed lanes moved back and we moved forward faster. However as we approached the booths we found that the people to our left had actually been queuing between lanes and were trying to take advantage of this fact by moving back over, without indicating.

This time I decided that nothing was keeping me from that toll booth. So I moved forward and left no gap for anyone to get in front of me. The guy at the front looked rather upset as about 5 other cars in front did the same but he hadn’t indicated, just tried to force his way in. Having driven in London for 10 years I know how to stand my ground.

Again my colleague commented on my “Christian Driving” (or lack of it).

When I’d dropped them off I started thinking. Was this the way to advertise my Christianity to others? I don’t suppose it is. Yet, aren’t Christians allowed to have an off day as well? Aren’t we subject to the same highs and lows as anyone else?

Maybe I should have been more inclined to let people move out in front of me. On the other hand does being a Christian mean that we should be a doormat for the world to wlk over? How do we know when we are being to far over on either side of the equation?

More importantly, have I damaged the image of a Christian in the eyes of my colleagues?


As many of you may know, today we have had more snow. I know this as it took me 5 hours to get home. In fact it took 1.5 times as long to get home as I spent in work.

It started shortly after I get in. Within 20 minutes we had an inch of snow on the road outside. Even the passing of vans and trcuks made little impression on it. We had reports that trucks were unable to get to us; that ports had not worked over the weekend and some were closing this morning. My boss had regular updates from home and was looking at the camera feed on the M4 in South Wales.

Around 11:00 someone announced that they had to leave. At 11: 15 we had an e-mail from our transport department saying that all trucks were being recalled from South Wales and the South West due to the weather conditions. By 11:30 I decided that I’d leave around 12:00, after finishing some important work off.

Then I had a call from our Regional Director, at 11:50, telling me that I should consider waiting an hoour or so, as things may clear up – but it was up to me. My 2 colleagues who I’d normally carshare with had left 20 minutes earlier. I pointed out that FW had called to advise that her work, in our town, was closing and that buses were stopping; in addition our house is 950ft up from the valley floor.

So I agreed with my boss that I’d leave and promised that I’d let him know about the conditions on the M4. The road from the office to the M49 was one long icerink. The M49 was down to 2/3rds of a usuable lane and the M4 had a 30mph speed limited and two lanes that were only just usable. At 3:15 I received an e-mail from the director advising us that the road outside the office was dangerous.

It is good to know that our bosses take their legal requirement to consider the safety and wellbeing of their staff so seriously.

Things What I Learnt Yesterday

1. If a truck’s wheel trims comes into contact with your car then you will come off worst.
2. A truck can push your car along just using its wheel trims
3. The gent’s loo in the BP garage toilet at the westbound services at Membury plays bird song – most unsettling
4. According to the guy behind the counter I look like Robbie Krieger from The Doors.

Left: Tired&Emotional Above: Robbie Krieger

Welcome Belladonna

This is proof that I am a true petrolhead…..

This is our new addition to the family. We’ve actually had her for 3 months but she is a real Alfa and, as such, has spent most of it in the garage being repaired and returned to proper mechanical condition. She returns to us next week.

I have had to compromise on my “green” designs as she is the 2.5ltr petrol version but, as I car share on my commute using our other car 4 days a week, I think that I can justify the purchase.

So we are preparing for our Big World Tour 2010. First Leeds to visit Caring For Life; then Aber to visit a friend; then Swanage with the Troublesome Trucks and then we aim to visit Cambridge, to reclaim my wedding ring. Unfortunately it only covers the UK and we have had to forego our planned trip to France.

Other venue suggestions would be welcome 🙂


Apologies for the absence but work has been a virtual nightmare and I lost my Google bookmarks in Firefox.

As of St David’s Day I now work in my firm’s Bristol office. I must say that I am, after the first week, less tired, less stressed and more relaxed. As I said to my first manager, I actually feel that I want to come to work every day now. Let’s hope it lasts.

A fortnight before saw the demise of Kat, our Cougar. She finally gave up the ghost and died on the way to work one morning. Thankfully she has not been scrapped but donated to a young trainee mechanic who needed a car to practise on.

So we now have a new addition to the family. I’ll say more soon. Just to say that we had to go to South Devon to get her.

I’m also reunited with a colleague I first worked with when I started in the shipping/transportation industry 20 years ago. As he lives in Newport we now carshare to work. This is great as it helps me to satisfy my environmental desire.

It is not feasible to get to work by public transport, as it would involve walking the 2 miles to the railway station and 2 changes each way on the train. Then an uphill walk on the way home. If you’d seen our hill you’d know why that is a problem.