"I'm going to pick up some bits to make the aerials, Nic. You coming?"I go, just for the change in scenery and the fact that I am not going to be driving for a change. There is one small problem though. Kev owns a transit van and I hate sitting in the front of it for two reasons. The first is that I think we look like we have escaped from the local gypsy camp and the second is to do with Kev's Meldrew-esque driving. Occasionally he forgets he is in a van and get a bit boy-racer and other times he believes he is the best driver In The World.
We are sat at traffic lights, waiting to turn into Asda to fill up with diesel:
"Yeah, Dave gets 50p for a TV"
"What are you on about?"
"Oh, thinking out loud, love. I saw that scrap van there with hoovers on and stuff."
We drive out of the petrol station, grab some lunch and head towards Preston. We wait to turn right at some more traffic lights.
"That's right! Drive through a red light whilst on the phone. Bastard. I never answer my phone whilst driving"
Once we get on the road between here and there we drive for a bit. He points to a row of houses that we've passed a hundred times or more.
"I want to live here. It'd be great for my aerials and radio. I could listen in over there too."He nods to a local airfield.
I feel him accelerate and glance up to look out of the front window. There is a car in front and a clear road ahead. I can see one car in the distance on the other side of the road.
"You don't have to overtake, you know?"
"I'm not sitting behind these slow bastards"
I turn the radio up and sing along quietly. He joins in with some whistling. See, that's an "old man" thing too, isn't it? Whistling reminds me of my Grandpa. He used to whistle random tunes - not anything that you'd know, just tuneful whistling.
As we pull onto the slip road to drive on the motorway for just one junction a car speeds past us in the outside slip lane, then slows down rather quickly as a lorry comes thundering past and he appears to be running out of slip road.
"Now you're going to have to slow down, you rev head."
We arrive at the shop and go about our business.
As we're pulling out of the car park a little while later, Kev asks,
"Shall we pop to see John?"We drive to John's house and he's not in. As Kev is reversing the van we hear a grinding noise.
"If you want."
"Just to see if he's there?"
"If you want."
"What is that noise?"I point at the nearside front wheel, knowingly.
"I don't know. It's coming from that wheel."
"It's catching on something. It only happens when I go backwards though."So he already knew about it, hasn't done anything about it, but asked me what it was.
We make our way back to the motorway.
"We're just about to make this, you know, before the bad traffic. That's why I came this way."He continues...
"Does everyone break up today? Traffic's busy"It is 2.30pm on a Friday afternoon.
"I fucking hate the motorway."
We are now on the home straight. A wagon in front of us is indicating left to turn into the old weigh station. It is a little way in front of us but he wanders into our lane (the outside lane, but also a filter lane) as he turns.
"Which fucking lane are you going in, cunt?! What the fuck are you doing. Idiot!"We head down the hill and cross a weird type of junction. As we are crossing the main road, someone tries to turn right, without indicating.
"Come on, you knob!"Another hill, almost home. The car in front brakes cautiously as the hill is a little steep.
"Why the fuck does he keep braking? Is he after a claim or something?"We get to the traffic lights. Home is nearly in sight. The cars don't set off as soon as the light turns green.
"Come along boys and girls. Get a move on."He almost sounds like Joyce Grenfell's nursery teacher character. The same car is still in front of us. We both turn the corner and head in the same direction. The car indicates to park at the side of the road.
"You'll not get in there. You can't fucking drive"
We sit in a queue of traffic, created by some temporary roadworks. He looks up a side street that we have never been down before.
"Can you get down there?"He turns the steering wheel sharply and drives down the street. It appears that we can get down there. A car is coming towards us, using up most of the road.
"I don't know."
"Stupid bitch!"I hadn't noticed.
"Why is she a 'stupid bitch'?"
"Because she was too far over and I had to drive on the kerb."
We arrive home.
"Did you lock your door?"
"Seriously. I left it wide open so that everyone can have a sit in the front seat."