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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

Road Rage

Today's post is from Steve.  Our acquaintance is an odd story.  As you will see from my sidebar, there is a link to the Bad Mother's Club. Steve's daughter and wife both frequent the forum there and he dropped in one night when we were having a bit of a music session (YouTube links a-plenty).  Steve often reads my blog and sends little critiques over by email - it's always great to hear honest opinions from my readers.  Steve doesn't have a blog and professes not to write either - I think this "first attempt" at flash fiction is pretty darn good, to be honest.  Over to Steve...

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Hi my name is Steve, I am 57 years old, happily married, proud father of two and grandfather to seven.  Today I have the honour of a guest spot on Nickie's blog.  

Well, I'm just an ordinary sort of guy who lives a pretty mundane life with not many extreme peaks and troughs but let me tell you of something that happened to me yesterday...


I pride myself on being a safe driver.  I drive defensively mostly, always watching for potential danger from other road users, always keeping a safe distance from the car in front, this attitude has kept me accident free for almost forty years now.

The car I usually drive has "Please tailgate me" screaming out of every orifice.  The faithful old dog is a fifteen year old Citroen AX, with a punchy one litre engine and an extremely lived-in look about it.  But, hey ho, forty five to the gallon, group two insurance and, in the six and a half years that I have owned it, it has never failed to start and never broken down (except on one occasion when the lining stripped from a brake shoe)Yes, this is the car i am USUALLY in control of.

Yesterday evening I found myself in control of something else... sleek, shiny, fast - the kind of machine that has more attitude than a bull terrier with a hangover.

A kind of mist descended over me from the very first second the wheels started rolling.   I couldn't seem to control myself.  No-one, and I mean NO-ONE, was going to overtake ME.  NOT TODAY BABY...

I set off with the tyres burning and, within seconds, had the engine screaming in protest, up a gear... up the revs...  god... the sheer POWER.

Of course, before long, another car appeared in my rear-view mirror, gaining on me, twitching from side to side as the driver fought to control the G-force that his reckless speed was creating.

I increased my speed further, laughing to myself.  I wasn't going to let him pass.   I weaved from side to side to narrow his chances of getting alongside of me.   SCREW HIM.  I had become an absolute monster.  All that mattered to me was staying in front of him.

We hit the triple carriageway at god knows what speed and the car started to slide on the smooth tarmac, causing me to lose some traction.  By the time I had managed to get the car straight again the prat was beside me and he was actually inching ahead...  I wasn't laughing NOW.  I could feel the anger rising in me.  He handled a slight right hand bend better than I did and, within seconds, I was looking at his rear bumper, I was grinding my teeth in frustration... BASTARDBASTARDBASTARD...

I was startled by the sound of my wife's laughter.  I'd totally forgotten she was sitting there.  She seemed to find the situation extremely amusing and this just fuelled my rage more.  There was NO WAY that this ASSHOLE was going to beat ME.

The carriageway narrowed to two lanes, then one.  I was still glued to his bumper.  I found myself screaming in anger, and frustration...


Several times I nearly lost control as we slewed round tight curves but my wife's giggles at my inability to pass him drove me to ever more reckless manoeuvres.  

A tight left-hander was coming up, with a large expanse of grass leading away from the roadside.


As he slowed slightly to negotiate the tight turn, I actually increased my speed and headed straight for the grass.  I was going to cut straight across the corner and get in front again.

My wife watched intently with her face screwed up as she tried not to laugh out loud again.  She knew I would blame her if things went wrong.

Half way across the grass was where I lost it...  

The front end slid and I over-corrected, causing the car to go into a full broadside that it was just never going to recover from...

When the front wheels hit the tarmac on the other side of the bend, the sudden grip caused the car to flip over....

It rolled over and over, finally coming to rest on its roof in the roadside ditch...

I watched with absolute fury as the other guy disappeared over a slight rise...

"FUCK IT,” I shouted, almost drowned out by the sound of my wife's uncontrollable fit of giggles.  "These fucking Playstation games don't half wind me up."

I tossed the game control to her and said, "Here, you have a bleeding go, this level's doing my bleeding crust in.  I'm gonna get another beer.  Do you want one bringing in too?"

I then set off in the direction of the kitchen as my wife scrolled down to the PLAY AGAIN option.