Saturday, 31 July 2010

To B or not to B

s a driving instructor,

it's appropriate that I've arrived at a kind of crossroads in my life.

As a driver, I'd deal with such things as crossroads in good time and be prepared for whatever was there well in advance. If only things were that simple. In fact I procrastinated, and did almost nothing, until inertia chose my route for me.

Still a choice, I suppose, choosing to do nothing, but it did limit my options.

Every 4 years, us instructors have to give the government £300 for the priviledge of doing our jobs. My license expires today, and a new one had to be arranged if I was to continue teaching.

At the same time, my car lease was due to expire in a few weeks. If I chose to teach, I'd be locking myself into a 2 year lease on a dual controlled car.

So, these things together meant that if I'd wanted to go in a different direction, this was probably the time to do it.

And I have considered doing that. Being a driving instructor has not been that rewarding financially. The job, like almost any job, has become mundane. The benefits of not having to do a 9-5 shift with a boss telling me what to wear and how to act have to be set against the effort and responsibility of doing it all for myself. As Bren said when she hoovered carpets in our local bowling alley, you turn up, you do what you're paid to do, and you go home. Easy.

I did enquire about becoming a driving examiner. They are civil servants. They work for the Driving Standards Agency. It seemed like a logical progression, but they're not taking on new examiners right now. My name is on file, they say.

But that's all I did, and so in due course, I did what I needed to do, and I'm now set to be an instructor for the next couple of years at least. I'm now licensed until the end of July 2014, and I've got a shiny new Ford Fiesta sitting outside.

There are worse jobs. I've had some of them.

This, by the way, is my hundredth post of 2010. I hope that somewhere in there I've had something to say.

And I've almost completed my Google Earth alphabet (upper case) too.


But now, basically I'm bogged down betwixt and between a bevvy of beautiful B's.

It's a bugger of a burden to bear.

Do I brighten things with this beauty from Ulan Bator?

Or do I bat that into oblivion, and base it upon this, between Biggleswade and Baldock?


Both are abstract, but they are each recognisably B's, at least to an extent that I'm happy with. I know I'm going to use one or the other. So now seems a good time to recap on my methodology.

It would have been fairly easy to just find shapes, or even real letters that I found. But I set myself some rules, some of which I've occasionally bent or broken (are you listening, Q?)

They are:
  • I can't use real letters, such as those painted on airport runways. That also rules out things like the letters from the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign.

  • The letter has to be both whole and constrained. For example, if I found a particularly bendy bit of road, I couldn't use it as an S or a N, because the road would continue beyond the letter.
  • Less of a rule, and more of a convention, I have to try to make each letter come from different places and different... well... things I suppose. So if I found the letters Z, F, W, L and P in the bunkers of a golf course, I would try to use just one of them, especially if they were all from the same golf course.
The boundary line making the Mongolian B continues away somewhere else, making it something other than a B. So I'm going to have to choose the British B, because the shores of the lake form a boundary consistent with rule 2. And besides, it's between Baldock and Biggleswade, on the border of Bedfordshire.


1 comment:

Pete said...

Trust me, you're better off on all fronts as a driving instructor than as an unqualified nothing a.k.a. a TEFL teacher.