I had to go to the hospital yesterday for a consultation regarding having my wisdom teeth out, they have imparted no extra wisdom to me so there coming out. Anyway like most of the country yesterday it was very wet, but I did not have my son with me so I decided to walk the three miles in the rain to the hospital. I never think anything of it as I have never had a car or even learned to drive. I did have a job years ago when I drove tractors but that is the extent to which I have added to the already cogested road system. Today I walked to my mothers another three miles approx, when I arrived there were some distant relatives, visiting for christmas, and inevitably the question comes up again Where’s your car? don’t you drive? and the worst one you are stupid not to drive. Then I have to answer another round of questions to see if I am lazy,scared or even setting a bad example to my son.
Last week on the way back from the shop I saw two women talking in the middle of the road, both dressed in, I guess, identical nurses uniforms disscussing work. Nothing strange about that you may think, however they then said ‘see you later’ to each other, walked into there drives, got in a car each and drove off down the street, one behind the other????
Now I must confess that my wife does drive and enjoys it, so I can’t preach about pollution and so on. We have a decomissioned postal van which we are doing up into a camper, but thats another post. Many people would say that then it is easy not to drive and it’s more about lazyness than ethics. However I do all the shopping, visit my mother who is disabled as I’m a registered carer and we go together every three weeks to the super market to get tins, cleaning products and chilli sauce. Also my wife works as a riding instructor and has a horse of her own so is out the house alot, even if I did drive we would possibly have to have two cars for me to actually have any time driving. I think that this allows me to say that I can continue to be a non-driver without being considered lazy.
What I object to is that as a non-driver is that you are considered as if you are lacking an essential skill, yes it is true that the design of todays towns and cities are all designed around the car but they are also catering for a certain lifestyle that I’m not part of. I know there are people who consider me lazy ,most are in my family, but they don’t see that I do more physical activity when walking than they possibly do in a week driving. I get great joy walking or cycling I can stop and enjoy something and be off again befor most people have found a parking space. I also feel that it is important to experience a certain amount of precipitation and sunlight direct to your skin rather than from a windscreen.
I also want to say something on public transport as I feel that it is unforgivable when people decide not to use it in favour of sitting alone in a car. However other than trains I never use our local bus service as I feel that it’s too expensive I want to support it but refuse to pay £1.50 to travel two miles.
I will admit there are times when I think if only I could drive but I think that they are no more frequent than wishing to be on holiday or winning the lottery. If somebody wants to give me a lift and it’s raining I’m not stupid but equally if it’s raining and there is no offer I will still go out, and no not just to the pub. I’m glad I don’t drive and proud that I can still get out and about without relying on other people.