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9:30pm on Sunday, 23rd December, 2007:



Hmm, we just got back from visiting my wife's brother and his family. Normally, it would take us about 45 minutes, but this time it took almost an hour and a half. The reason: F O G.

Like most drivers, I'm not a great fan of F O G because it's like driving into a void. Even slight curves mean slowing down almost to a stop, because you can't see where they end. It was a bit better this time because my wife was sitting watching the Tom Tom and giving me rally driver instructions as to upcoming bends. Nevertheless, the F O G was so thick that even this only really helped when there was a good, long, straight piece of road coming up.

Aside from the obvious F O G problem of not being able to see where you're going, there's another thing about it I don't like: other drivers. Not all of them, of course, but there's always one who gets up close behind and wants you to go faster, seemingly unaware of the fact that the only reason they can drive faster than you can is because of your rear foglights. Without those foglights to follow, they're as blind as you are. Should they somehow manage to overtake, they invariably go even slower than they were going beforehand. We only had one of these, though, and lost them at Braintree.

Oh, one last thing about F O G: have you noticed how hard it is to see where the exits from the road are? Some people might, for example, be looking for a right turn off a single carriageway and have trouble finding it. This is what they want to do:

However, if they miss the junction and see another junction instead which is a right turn from the opposite direction, they could do this instead:

Needless to say, it would have to by really F O G G Y for that to happen. Unfortunately, today it was really F O G G Y, and this is how I found myself facing the headlights of a car coming right at me driving on the wrong side of the road. Fortunately, the driver realised their mistake in the nick of time and managed to keep on the central reservation slip road rather than crash into us head-on, otherwise this blog entry might have been somewhat delayed in the writing... I've no idea how they were going to get back onto the correct carriageway, but I think driving across some grass might have worked.

We don't get a lot a F O G in this part of the UK, so this kind of thing is a rare event. As I've mentioned before, though, in the Vale of York where my grandmother lived they'd get F O G so bad it could last for a fortnight. No wonder my grandfather wasn't a keen motorist...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).