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Thursday, 29 September 2016
A letter to John


Dear John*,

Do you remember me taking this photograph of you? I’m sure you do: As I pointed the camera at you, you ducked your head inside as if you were embarrassed at the way you were leaning out of your window, shouting at me. Do you remember what so annoyed you? I suggested to you that in future if you simply apologised for what you had done we could all move on. You said that you would never apologise to me, ever, and you repeated that twice more.  When I asked you why you were angry you asked me why I had shouted “hey hey hey hey” at you, and said that you had noticed me cycling down the road. You seemed offended by that. Why? If you recall I was cycling down the road and you entered the road from the right (left side of the photograph above). As I told you when you started raving at me, you drove your car directly at me, and I was concerned that you may not have seen me which is why I shouted “hey hey hey hey” at you.

So John, I had given you the benefit of the doubt: I had assumed that you failed to see me. Let’s review the situation carefully. There are two possibilities to consider: either you didn’t see me or you did see me.

If you didn’t see me (as I had assumed) then you were driving carelessly. Rule 170 of the Highway Code states:

Take extra care at junctions. You should

  • watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters and pedestrians as they are not always easy to see. Be aware that they may not have seen or heard you if you are approaching from behind
  • ...
  • Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.

So failure to observe me coming down a clear road, in full daylight would indicate carelessness on your part.

If on the other hand you did see me (as you claim), but you still decided to drive your vehicle directly at me, then let me suggest that you were driving dangerously. Despite the fact that you could see me cycling down the road, you accelerated towards me in a threatening fashion. In complete knowledge of the Highway Code (presumably) and seeing me cycling down the road, you took the dangerous decision to encroach on my safety.

So John, noting that you were offended when I suggested that you might not have seen me, and said that you should apologise, I am prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt and accept that you are not merely a careless driver, but are actually a dangerous driver. As dangerous driving is a more serious offence than careless driving may I suggest that you go to your local police station and hand your drivers licence in? Alternatively take it back to the shop you bought it from. That will be the safest situation for me, for you, and for your child who was sitting in a baby seat in the back seat of your car.

It is for your child that we should all be most concerned: She** endured not only your dangerous driving but also all the verbal abuse you hurled at me (until the moment I lifted the camera to take your photo). I won’t forget the look on the face of your poor child, silently enduring your abuse without knowledge of any other possibility. I also won’t forget the youths on the far pavement throwing orange skins at your car, or the youths on the near pavement who also started scolding you for your poor driving. Your child meanwhile, looked at the back of your head and seat, and wondered why you were leaning of of the window and shouting at me. Then we parted: I cycled off down the road and you turned right at the next junction, your last words again being “I will never apologise you you. Ever”.


* Not your real name of course
** or he

The Highway Code

Posted by bigblue on 29/09/2016 at 07:23 PM
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Saturday, 24 September 2016
I spotted a criminal in East Surrey

Speeding is a criminal offence. If convicted, you are required to declare this to your insurance company for the next five years. You may also be required to declare this when making a job application, etc.
Unfortunately, certain sections of society normalise speeding, leading to people not understanding how serious it is.

“the effect of speeding is () severe. Government data lists breaking the speed limit as a factor in almost 220 road deaths a year, rising to 350 if you include travelling too fast for the conditions.

(Peter Walker)

PS - Perhaps you are wondering whether I was breaking the speed limit on my bicycle? If so, then read this article.

Posted by bigblue on 24/09/2016 at 02:46 PM
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Monday, 19 September 2016
Essential life skill


How have I survived so long without this essential life skill?

Posted by bigblue on 19/09/2016 at 03:15 PM
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Monday, 12 September 2016


This is a view of the North Downs above Sundridge in Kent. 

Posted by bigblue on 12/09/2016 at 12:15 PM
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Sunday, 11 September 2016
Ide Hill


A view over the green to St Mary’s church, Ide Hill, which is the highest church in Kent. The church was built in 1865, on the site of a chapel.

Posted by bigblue on 11/09/2016 at 09:04 PM
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Friday, 02 September 2016
Indications of Autumn


Autumn colours have been introduced into our landscape. This photo of the hay harvest was taken a couple of days ago along the North Downs in West Kent.

Posted by bigblue on 02/09/2016 at 12:04 AM
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