Unfriendly In Henley

A better ride today and a longer trip too. The route took in Henley which was surprisingly empty for a Saturday, but – recession aside – the future of most town centres is bleak –perhaps Henley’s just a good bellwether.

Mind you, if that bellwether role is true, then let’s hope it applies just to the future of shopping and not to the nature of drivers. All journeys, whatever the mode of transport, involve numerous interactions with other road users. Most of those interactions are neutral, some will be actively co-operative, even friendly, and a few might be something else – aggressive, negligently inconsiderate or actively unhelpful. In Henley today, the latter were in the majority.

One young-ish chap cut me up, quite deliberately, and then adopted that typical, fixed, borderline sociopathic, stare ahead – determined to not catch my eye, all too aware that he was in the wrong. There was a child in the car with him; nothing about the pair of them looked happy. I wondered whether it was a case of begrudged ‘quality time with the kid’. You wonder how the child will grow up, how they’ll look back on these years.

If ever you hear anyone talk of ‘quality time’, the ‘quality’ needs qualifying – would that be good or bad quality you’ll be offering this time around?

So some unhappy young-ish bloke cut me up; it’s no big deal but as you get older you realise time is finite and that karma is a boomerang. You just wish you could get that message across to people while they can still act on it. It was ever thus though.