London driving is just a different experience altogether. Thank God I didn't have to take my test here! Sure sometimes there's a crash/breakdown report that affects my journey BUT whenever my news bulletin alerts me, I just say a little 'Thank you Jesus' that I wasn't involved. It does mean, however, that if I'm in a little later to work sometimes than I might prefer. When that happens then I know I will have to make up my work/time BUT, this is just part and parcel of my choice and so I accept whatever comes with it...
c'est la vie!
Having everything is possible, but not always at the same time (more on this in another post!) - so for now, if the thing that has to give is a ‘commute’, then I’m OK with it.
- The right equipment: we’re lucky that we have a comfy and mostly reliable car. I have Mr O to thank for that. He’s a ‘boy’ and typically likes gadgets et al. With all the 4-hour drives we used to do just to visit our family, comfort was something he was prepared to pay for - even if I did think some of these items unnecessary at the time!
* my cup holders - the kind that really hold your drink and not the kind that are just for the sake of having them
* my food tray (though Mr O doesn’t like it when I call it that!)
* all my buttons are on my steering wheel - no fidgeting about!
* my arm rests are in just the right position
* my rear view dimmer (again, I don’t really know what it’s really called, but it just means that other people’s headlights don’t blind me!
* my Tom Tom
* my rain detectors, light detectors, cruise control et al all mean that I don’t have to do a lot - just steer and watch out for nutty London drivers with no obvious fear of oncoming traffic - even buses (sorry, but a bus is bigger than me, so I just let it go; nowhere is so important that I feel the need to drive like a reckless)!!
For me, the commute is doable, but ONLY because it’s comfy. I’m lucky - I know. But if I were commuting by public transport, I’d still try to do as much as possible to make it comfy. Perhaps I’d get on one stop early so that I could grab a seat! I’d definitely tune into my music - anti-social, sure but I feel necessary unless I’m in the mood for eaves-dropping! Then I could also get into a book/paper to pass the time...
I even heard (on the grapevine) recently that if you’re pregnant, you can get a free upgrade to first class on trains by sending them your MATB1 form - just think, bigger seats, air con, no crowds and no stinky armpits in your face!
- practiced several routes to work before I started (in rush hour!), so that
if when the fun
mayhem begins, I am not stressing about routes whilst being ushered off the
motorway by policemen - this actually happened to me on my first week!
- catch up with friends and family during the commute! When I get home, its Mr O and Baby Girl's time, so the commute is coming in handy for maintaining relationships with people I don’t see regularly. I kind of like booking in my phone calls - something nice to look forward to at the end of the day - other than collecting Baby Girl that it...
- the radio is your new best friend. CDs are predictable. Aside from a few exceptions, I don’t get that ‘oh, I love this song!’ feeling anymore. Ipods are a bit better I suppose with shuffle and all, but I have just never really gotten into it. For me, when I’m not gassing on the phone, LBC and Choice keep me company!
I'm new to commuting, so if you've any extra tips - I'm all ears!!!
Next up - taking care of meeee!