Friday, 29 March 2013

"How do I get these fucking things to turn off"?

- commented one of my pupils, the other day.

He was referring to the indicators on the DS3.

You see, it comes with a special "motorway" setting that means if you just slightly move the indicator, it will flash 3 times.

Now the DS3 is a lovely car to drive, and to teach in, but for learners, this particular feature is a dangerous distraction, and for me, it's a constant source of irritation.

It's distracting because having inadvertently signalled, the pupil then tries to cancel the signal, but succeeds only in signalling the opposite way, leading to further attempts to cancel the signal, and them taking their eyes off the road to look at the indicator stalk.

It's dangerous partly because of this, and partly because the hazard caused by an incorrectly timed signal is magnified. I've already had to do one emergency stop because someone pulled out of a junction in front of us because they thought we were turning left into a sideroad.

When the car went in for a service the other day, I asked if there was a way of switching off this function, as I've been through both the vehicle handbook, and the various menu options on the car's displays.

Nope, they said, but try asking Citroen directly.

This I have done, and got a polite response suggesting I ask my local Citroen garage.

I replied further, on March 19th, clarifying my concerns, stating clearly that this feature is potentially dangerous in a learner car, and asking for some assurance that they would actually look at the issue I'd raised. To date they have not yet replied.

So if you, dear reader, have reached this blog after having some kind of accident involving a DS3 and this feature, please do be assured that Citroen have been made aware of this issue, even if they choose to do nothing about it.

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Saturday, 23 March 2013


The devil will find words for idle hands to post.

I have a million little things going on right now, and no time to blog about them.

House move? Happening soon. Next few weeks.

Work? Extremely busy for the forseeable future.

Specific interesting things with work? First deaf pupil. Pupil who's main driving role model is a dick, 78 year old pupil. Driving in snow again.

Been spending a lot of time in the car, so I've got hold of a load of audiobooks, and I'm "reading" as I drive between jobs.

Each of the above could be a complete blog post or several, but right now, I have to go and bring home yet more bacon.

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Friday, 15 March 2013


I'm doing 35 hours work this week. That equates to around 50 hours when you take into account things like travelling time, etc. And the enquiries keep coming in. Some of this work is really interesting and rewarding. I'm currently helping a 78 year old woman back into the swing of things, and after a shaky start, she's doing really well. I have a profoundly deaf pupil going to give me a try next Friday.

I put a special offer up offering an upgrade to 90 minutes on hour lessons for the first calender month of a pupil's involvement with me, but I've now cancelled that. With my diary being so full, I don't need to sell myself so cheaply.

As an added benefit, if people want to bugger me about, I'm now happy to say, "Yeah, whatever. See you when you feel like having lessons" rather than needing their sporadic business.

But I'm tired. I am usually working 6 days a week, for pretty much the whole day, with scarecely a break. I want to get stuff done on the allotment. I want to go play golf with my dad. I want to go on a bike ride. I want to just do jack shit for a day.

So I'm contemplating taking on a franchisee.

I've been on the other end of this arrangement several times before. Instructor pays driving school £X per week, and in return is given Y pupils. It's both a regular source of income, especially if you get several instructors working under your name, and a responsibility.

I have a few ideas about how this would work in my own school.  Precise details would have to be worked out.

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The water through which we swim

Some of my family are bigoted reactionary tossers. So are some of my work colleagues. So are some of my friends.

It saddens me that people are so easily manipulated.

In almost every case, the underlying feeling is a sense of injustice.

Why the hell should this apocryphal Somali family of 17 children get a free mansion and rolls royce when brave servicemen with a leg blown off are forced to live in a slurry tank full of wasps?

Yeah right. Like the shower in charge right now would somehow allow an exemption to probably the most downtrodden and rightless sector of all? They'll shit on the disabled but give Afghani immigrants a life of unbridled luxury?

Stupid bastards. I feel like unfriending half my family.

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