, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I do hope that warden hasn’t written us a ticket, sighed Dru,

after they had called the AA.

He wouldn’t have been able to, if he was still carrying the

remains of the urn, Gus pointed out.  And I doubt he’d be able

to remember the numberplate.

I don’t know.  Short term memory is supposed to handle seven,

plus or minus two items, unless you treat each item as a file

for further storage, but recall is affected by the length of delay.

I can’t remember who said that, but we did it at Teacher

Training college.  I’ve forgotten most of what we supposedly

learned there.

Just as well we weren’t in Boudicca, Gus remarked.  (He didn’t

want to stray onto the topic of teacher training, since he hadn’t

had any.  He had learned all he knew in the field- usually the

cricket variety.)

Yeah, your personalised numberplate is pretty memorable, but

it draws too much attention to itself…and to your somewhat

erratic driving, if you don’t mind me saying.

He did.  She’d said it nevertheless.

The June 2008 cover of Automobile.

It was a leaving present from the boys when I stood down

from being Deputy Head.  I treasure it.

Hmm, well, I don’t suppose anyone else was fighting over

SNO D1 in those Auto magazines… I shouldn’t have driven

on that tyre.  I’ll probably have ruined the wheel.  Oh,

where is that AA guy, or person?!  I should have said

that I was a vulnerable woman with an elderly father…

…and an infinitesimal percentage of a recently deceased

relative, added Gus, dryly.

Their Satnav probably doesn’t work as this lane is too small

to show up from Outer Space.  Or maybe since the US military

are jumpy at the moment, they have switched off the satellite


Dru’s science was somewhat vague.

There was something on the news about astronauts laying

cables on Isis.

A rearward view of the International Space Station backdropped by the limb of the Earth. In view are the station's four large, gold-coloured solar array wings, two on either side of the station, mounted to a central truss structure. Further along the truss are six large, white radiators, three next to each pair of arrays. In between the solar arrays and radiators is a cluster of pressurised modules arranged in an elongated T shape, also attached to the truss. A set of blue solar arrays are mounted to the module at the aft end of the cluster.

ISS, corrected Snod.  International Space Station.   No, your

position can be traced to an area within 15 metres. The system

was developed so they could hit a target with a ballistic missile.

However, just because these gadgets can tell you where you are,

it doesn’t mean that you know where you are going.  Intelligence

comes into it too.

He started to hum, I know where I’m going and I know who’s

going with me, rather annoyingly.

Do you think people in the AA are intelligent?  Dru wondered.

The person who took the call had never heard of this lane, though

I kept saying that we were just off the A228.  Without an

Ordnance Survey reference they didn’t seem to be able to cope.

A thought suddenly came to her.  What if the military scrambles

the signal to confuse Putin’s jets as they fly over our coast?

Maybe we will all have to revert to A-Z Route Planners  if

there is another Cold War.

Gus looked at his watch.  It was getting late.  He regretted

having eaten the trifle earlier.  And what he would have given

for one of those sausage rolls.

Wretched, greedy old codger who demolished more than his

fair share at the wake!

He wasn’t referring to himself, but, as is usual in

these ethical matters, it was a case of the pot calling

the kettle black.  Snod’s blind spot was not reserved to

any vehicle that he drove, but was a personal feature-

one which Alan Bennett had only commented on recently,

as a national characteristic.

Talking Heads.jpg

Poor old Martha Kearney hadn’t expected a National

Treasure to nominate ‘hypocrisy‘ as being one of a list of

fifty things the English do well.  Maybe if the Beeb had

given Bennett a couple of nice sausage rolls before the

interview, he’d have been kinder and less crotchety.

After all, his dad had been a butcher, so he probably

retained a penchant for them. Cutbacks are responsible

for a lot of negativity, especially in the elderly…

Gus just hoped that he and Dru were not sitting in the

biggest blind spot, or black hole in Britain.

But mercifully a yellow van homed in on them.  Maybe that

new Galileo system had kicked in.

That’ll show those Ruskies, he thought.  What we excel in is


A long-legged blonde in uniform emerged from the van,

carrying a toolkit:

So, what is problem? she said, huskily.  I’ve driven practically

to Vladivostock to find you. 

Ah, puncture is simples!