Thursday, March 21, 2024

White ghosts on wheels - in the Dordogne

 My nerves are now on full alert when driving, a new and uncomfortable experience.   It does not matter whether I turn left out of the gate to descend to Tocane St Apre ....or right in order to get to St Astier.  Both are long winding, twisting roads which - fortunately - have been broadened in recent years.  Crossly I sometimes put this down to my forthcoming forth score of years, due at the end of this month.

Then sometimes self blame gets going:    I should not have taken that second cup of coffee - a known over stimulant - but I drink decaf so that should have no effect.  Ditto the glass of wine - leave time for that to be absorbed by whatever I am eating.

After self-blame comes the other popular culprit - the local roads authority and its constant mending, fiddling, obstructing parts of the road.  The roads themselves are not exactly flat - not possible on hill sides! 

As I was rehearsing all these factors coming up from St Astier one morning I was obliged to draw over to the ditch side of the road as three small cars insisted on overtaking me at excessive speed. 

This shock to my attention suddenly made me see the reason  - I think - for my problem:   all three cars were WHITE, SHINY WHITE!!

It was as though a procession of automobile ghosts had gone by.  Over the following days I noticed more and more white vehicles going in all directions.   Then I saw a shiny white petrol tanker go, I thought that really cannot be possible - but it was. I saw it twice, once followed by a white builder's van carrying sand. And, to cop it a cement mixer on of those very long bodied vans on which there is a churning, slurping, egg shaped recipient.

Fortunately I have a clever son who explained:   white metal paint is cheaper than any other....