Tuesday, January 11, 2022


Is there such a thing as hyper-zen? I've just driven a round trip from Barnet through Fulham, Battersea and Camberwell and back again, including a 30-minute traffic jam just to cross Camberwell Green.

Most of the route had a speed limit of 20 miles an hour, and at almost every traffic light it seemed there was a frantic young man in a small car revving his engine because he HAD TO GET AWAY FIRST. 


I sat behind the wheel, a placid lump, pootling along at twenty. 

Green light ahead? Accelerate to 25? Not me! Pootle, pootle, pootle. Wipers on, wipers off, drizzle, rain, nothing.

Glide around the corners, ease on the brakes. Slowly, I pass the Me-Firsters. They have rushed, revved, thrusted and hurried, but they are only a car in front of me. How did that happen?

I don't actually care, really, because I am hyper-zen. Slowly, I pull into my street, gently park and lock the car.

Stress. What is that?

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