Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Slow traffic

Rail above road bridge, SH1, Seddon.
A replacement bridge is being built to the right so the nervous excitement of the possibility
of a train driving over the top of you is going to come to an end.

As I puttered through the Lyttelton road tunnel this morning at a sedate 45km behind an obviously nervous driver, I was thinking about the speed I normally drive. I have been making a concerted effort to obey the speed limits and its not difficult in my daily commute. I just cruise along, listening to music, thinking my thoughts and I rarely get over 105km. I travel at the speed I wish to, not because I'm being held up by traffic.

But around town its a completely different story. I really struggle to stay anywhere near 50km, particularly on some roads, for example, Port Hills Rd where everyone does a minimum of 60km. When I travel at 50km on these roads I feel like I'm a real fuddy-duddy, the traffic builds up behind me and I feel pressured to travel more quickly.

Traveling at the speed limit can be very relaxing, particularly on the open road. You virtually never catch up with anyone and the speed hounds scream past and disappear off into the distance leaving you with the open road again. In town I just find it harder to keep my speed down and to keep my cool. Its a very interesting experiment and I think it goes to show how quickly I used to drive and equally, how lucky I am to have never received a speeding ticket. (I'm not counting on the one speed camera fine I got 4 years ago!)

The last time we drove to the Sounds towing the trailer we noticed the phenomenon of always driving on an open road. Towing, we have to drive at 90km which is an easy speed for people to pass you at. Cars pass, disappear off and you're left with this wide open space to drive into (this could be a metaphor for something) without the stress of fast drivers being aggravated by you holding them up.

I guess I'm thinking about speed limits a bit because this weekend I'm away with friends for a long weekend covering a fair amount of the South Island. Some of the roads we'll be on just call out to be driven on fast - I wonder if I'll be able to resist?


Friday, August 10, 2007

Reading list: July

I had forgotten that I was going to try to keep a record of what I've been reading. Just out of interest and not for any particular reason. Here's July's list:
  • N is for Noose (Sue Grafton)
  • Interesting Times (Terry Pratchett)
  • Three to Get Deadly (Janet Evanovich)
  • Married to a Bedouin (Marguerite van Gelderualsen)
  • Fish 'n' Chip Shop Song & other stories (Carl Nixon)
  • Full Speed (Janet Evanovich)
  • Four to Score (Janet Evanovich)
  • The Sword of Shannara trilogy (Terry Brooks)
  • The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
  • High Five (Janet Evanovich)
  • Hot Six (Janet Evanovich)
  • The Iron Tree (Cecilia Dart-Thornton)
The length of this list was helped by the fact that I've rejoined the local library (it has also added to the late night problems mentioned previously).

Favourite book of the month: 'Married to a Bedouin'. Beg, borrow or buy this book - its fantastic. This is a life story. I felt it petered out a bit at the end but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. I borrowed it from my mother's friend but its one that if I see it in a second hand book shop, I'll buy it.

Worst book of the month: 'The Sword of Shannara' series - it was more a case of I over dosed on the series as I read it straight through. 3 fantasy novels in 1 go. Big mistake. I should have diluted them with other books so not the author's fault.

I sometimes get overwhelmed with the options when I go to the library so you can see a bit of a theme in my reading material. When I find an author or series I like I tend to read as much of them as I can. But I have learnt from my fantasy overload and I am trying to spread the authors out more. Any suggestions of favourite books and authors will be gratefully received.

Currently reading: 'Paris to the Moon' by Adam Gopnik and 'The Amtrak Wars book 2' by Patrick Tilley.



I've just been reading Secret Agent Josephine's latest post about how tired she is and I completely sympathise! I'm overtired at the moment but in my case, its completely self induced. A few late nights, a late meeting and then last night, even though I'd promised myself that I would go to bed early, I didn't. The bloke did and when he went off I knew I should as well but I just couldn't.

I get like that sometimes. Unable to drag my lazy self off the sofa and getting grumpier by the minute. The worst of it is is that I know I'm doing it and I can't stop myself.

At least today I don't have a headache and I have been able to concentrate on doing some work. We've had nor'wests for the last 3 days which is fabulous (warm and dry) although when you're at work you don't really get to see the weather. But it does feel like spring. Hopefully this will continue into the weekend.

With I. now not working, he's been a busy little boy around home. The rotten corner of the house has been dismantled and replaced over the last two days. As a result though, he's feeling shattered and I think is planning to have a much easier day today and clean up the mess of rotten weatherboards and stuff that is scattered in the garden. My excuse for not working in that garden has now gone. I hadn't wanted to put effort into it because I knew he'd be trampling all over it as he worked on the house and now that its done, hmmm, I guess I could do some gardening tomorrow?!