This morning, while making a short drive across town, yours truly experienced a minor yet irksome incident. To clarify, this wasn’t a vehicle collision, moreover what I’d suggest are a set of circumstances uncommon to my fellow UK drivers.

Wanting to play an audiobook, but being unable to locate it safely while manoeuvring in relatively busy south Leeds traffic, I harboured hopes my thus far stoppage-free voyage would be momentarily interrupted courtesy of a red traffic light.

My unusual wish borne from a desire to briefly sit stationary at traffic controlling signals, allowing me opportunity to locate and play the third of TV/radio presenter Danny Baker’s trinity of autobiographies, titled On The Turn. Another tome of the consummate raconteurs whimsical anecdotes, narrated by the author in his trademark London lilt and upbeat manner

You may ask why I didn’t just pull over, park at a roadside kerb where I could safely undertake the above task. A valid enough question, to which I’d respectfully respond it was a manoeuvre I was reticent to employ due to the relatively narrow road being navigated at the time.

To clarify,  there was nose to tail moving traffic in both directions, meaning pulling to the kerb side and parking would likely cause inconvenience to fellow drivers. Forcing one direction of these cars to halt; having to give way to oncoming traffic, whilst I sat frantically seeking the recording of Baker’s witty prose within my Audible app library.

Although the above notions were possibly overly-servile, GJ Strachan concluded there wasn’t any urgent requirement to cause unnecessary congestion when there were sets of traffic lights aplenty on the particular route being navigated.

Surely fate wouldn’t be perverse enough to bequeath me unhindered green lights for miles on end when in need of a delay to seek in-car entertainment,. Particularly when it never fails to provide red light after red light to delay me when desperately requiring an unhindered journey.

Fate, though, was in an impish mood today. No doubt sniggering up its sleeve at witnessing my irritation as every set of lights I encountered bore the emerald green of an Irish rugby shirt. This rare driving ‘treat’ bringing to mind the scene in Taking of Pelham 123 movie when all red signals were overridden, allowing NY subway train hijackers a free run of the Big Apple’s underground network.


The only scarlet light confronted on this irksome sojourn was at the penultimate traffic signals prior to my destination. At this juncture of the journey I concluded it wasn’t worth the effort of looking through the Audible library on my mobile device to feast indulgently upon Baker’s anecdotal gems…… After all, I was only a few minutes from my destination, meaning at best I’d probably only get to hear half of one of the Londoner’s chucklesome aural yarns.

Incidentally, while making the simile of my unrestricted voyage to the free run given to the fictional crooks in the Taking of Pelham 123, the only similarity between mine and Robert Shaws gang’s circumstances were both parties were afforded unconstrained passage across our respective metropolises.

Please note, my untethered transition was purely down to fate; whereas the subway train hijacker’s run manifested from threats to ‘waste’ hostages if met by. signal restrictions. I want to make it abundantly clear yours truly’s unbounded progress wasn’t consequential of a similar passenger homicide threat…… For one thing, I didn’t have a passenger!!

To add to the irony of this mornings unhindered journey, this afternoon, while behind the clock after losing track of time, every traffic light I encountered shone with the ruby red hue of my stressed visage on arrival at Rothwell leisure centre’s Synergy class.

What is the moral of this essay, Gary? I hear you cry!….. What can we take from this litany of locutions, telling of how fate’s mischief robbed you of the in-car entertainment sought to accompany you during passage through your city’s avenues and byways?

I suppose what I’ve learned from this morning’s events is quite an elementary observation. Which is, next time I drive anywhere make sure the in-car entertainment gets located and kicked into life prior to leaving the bloody driveway!