Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The School Run

Having vented my spleen on Nissan Micras and their incompetent owners (with the exception of Shirley). Some of the subsequent comments thew up a couple of other issues, the first is a loathing of people who have 4x4's for effect, and in particular the hideous and pointless Porsche Cayenne (above), but also their use by Mum's on the school run:

t put it like this:

'The worst case of cayennes congregating can be found by Colfes school in Lee with middle class, big-hair mums dropping off their dah-ling little Tristans. They can barely see over the bonnet let alone actually drive the things and beacause of this they block the road up something chronic. '

and Nigel put it thus:

'The school-run mums and others like 4x4s because they make them feel safer and give them a clearer view. So essentially we have some of the most timid, inexperienced, and unsafe drivers, driving around in the biggest and most dangerous vehicles. '

All of which got me thinking back to dim and distant past of my school days in the 70's. Going to Rockmount Junior school in Upper Norwood, out of a School of 360 pupils, only 1 got taken to school by car, and he got the piss taken out of him unmercilessly for being such a wuss. Nowadays either the kids seem to have gone feral by the age of 5 with no parental supervision or control whatsoever or they are so pampered and protected that they can't use a bus by themselveves at the age of 18.

The only way I managed to get a lift to school was to walk out in front of a car and get my ankle smashed to pieces, and even then it was only while the plaster was up to the top of my thigh, as soon as it went below the Knee, that was it, back on the Bus (and my Mum had her own car and didn't work). The other time was my 3rd year at secondary School when I managed to persuade my German teacher Mrs Beric to pick me up, which at least kept me up with all the gossip about who was shagging who on the staff.

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At 5:29 pm, Blogger Hugh said...

Absolutely spot on! When I was at school I also used to walk the mile there and back rain or shine. No free buses then either (don't get me started on that hot chestnut). Fortunately the only friend who has a 4x4 (Land Rover Discovery) actually uses it off road almost daily - and he has a welder and small generator in the back - it is a proper working vehicle. No Chelsea tractor there then. It is ecologically neutral as he runs the diesel engine on cooking oil. If you go down into the Medway towns, Supermarkets have a limit on how much vegetable oil they will sell to one person as so many people use it to fuel their diesel vehicles. It is only illegal if you don't tell the Revenue & Customs, as you have to pay duty on it. Of course everybody does...

Another flippin' fire in the Deptford / New Cross area; it took me 3.5 hours to do a 50 minute journey, and I was one of the lucky ones. It was the overheated gas bottles once again - just the same as five or six weeks ago in the same area. About time for proper licencing and control of industrial gases I think.

At 10:36 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

It is probably against Blog etiquette to make a comment on your own post, but on the way over to pick Marcus up from visiting his Mum, and there was this sodding Cayenne in the middle of the Road coming straight for me and the little twerp was on his bloody mobile phone.
You know it's a good thing you can't buy rocket launchers in Argos.

Will my little C15 work on cooking oil?

At 11:15 pm, Anonymous Nigel said...

"You know it's a good thing you can't buy rocket launchers in Argos. "
Spilt my tea on the keyboard laughing at that one!
Spot on.

At 6:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let them all take SCHOOL buses, not the buses the rest of us have to use. These kids are badly mannered and behaved, and make journeys unpleasant for everyone. And the fact that their travel is free to boot, with their rudeness, litter, noise and overall disrespect, is an insult to paying citizens who just want to get home in peace. Rocket launcher would just be a start!

At 10:02 am, Anonymous The ReV said...

Walk a MILE to school?
When i was little I lived halfway up Wickham Lane and from the age of about 7 (2 year Junior school?) I used to walk all the way to Rockcliffe Manor Primary School up by Plumstead Common (Erindale Road?) which is about a mile either way then when I moved to Bostal Heath I walked almost 2 miles either way every day to school. Sadly now I’m lucky if I walk half a mile a day…
Shame, I LOVE walking…
Must be me age!
I’m totally against kids getting picked up and dropped off but see it as part of the pace of life nowadays sadly also what with there being million upon millions of Kiddie fiddlers out there just waiting to POUNCE the best way to ensure little Jordan or Jamie are safe is to wrap them in cotton wool and indulge their every whim.
Bit of a bugbear this for me as you might guess!
I was lucky when I was a kid that I was allowed total freedom from an early age, my Mum often reminds me of the time when I was bout 7 when I brought her home some nice pebbles I’d “found” in a jar with some flowers, I’d been playing in the local graveyard and had taken a handful of the coloured glass chippings as I thought they looked nice!
Mind you afew years later my best mate’s Dad became the Plumstead Cemetery Caretaker so I spent a lot of my forulative years playing amongst the dead.
Explains a lot...
I used to play in the woods all day without anyone knowing where I was too. Remember once we found a huge hole dug in the woods that someone was using as a camp of some kind, very strange so we took it over then saw a completely naked bloke running about the woods so did what any normal kids playing war would do, decided to chase him.
We lost him but that was just an everyday sorta occurance when I was a kid, I get the feeling now that if little Johnny had this happen to him he’d be in therapy for weeks and the woods cut down “to stop this sort of thing happening!”.
Mind you I was a Proto-Hoodie I imagine as I was always starting fires, smashing things up, breaking trees to make swings or camps etc etc but that is part of childhood. My favourite haunt was Shornells the old derelict Co-Op headquarters hidden away on Bostal Heath (it was bulldozed to make the hospice). My mates used to smash the place up and things and so did I for abit but I learnt to have an interest in the building, the architecture and the fascinating stuff we found (like going to the back of the building and opening a door to find a tiny bedroom full of the last residents knickknacks as if they’d just left the room except for the fact that there was no back wall as it had fallen away leaving an 80ft drop), it helped me learn that although mindless destruction is fun, fun, fun you don’t have to do that. I spent hours at the library (no Interweb in those days!) researching the place and discovered its history even learnt about Victorian formal gardens because of it!
Sorry got completely off track reminiscing!

You way not be able to buy Rocket Launchers in Argos but you used to be able to buy Uzi’s in the Woolworth’s in Miami…

Oh and Hugh it’s no WAY a mile from your parents house to school more like a half mile at the most!

At 12:28 pm, Anonymous t said...

"there was this sodding Cayenne in the middle of the Road coming straight for me and the little twerp was on his bloody mobile phone."

The trick is to have a slightly battered looking car - doesn't matter if the chelsea tractor is bigger than your car, the driver will be too scared of denting their numptymobile and will assume that because your car already looks battered that you wont be scared to add more dents.

They might think they're safer in a chelsea tractor but, in my experience the drivers are complete cowards in a game of chicken.

At 2:43 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

I don't believe it.... (where have I heard that before) just come back to work from lunch (in the car 'cos I go and see my Dad straight after work on a Thursday) and not only was there a loony in Punto with no clue about the highway code, but ANOTHER Cayenne, out of control, and you know what...............on the bloody phone!!

I'm going to Woolworths Miami to get my Uzi, I wonder what the duty will be? Am sure customs will allow it when they understand the humanitarian nature of the mission.

Found a good article on vegetable oil,
might give it a go (legally!!)

At 3:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats with the angst against the cars? Does it matter if they are being driven to school in a Porsche or a Golf?
Also why does it also become so anti-middle class, what about chavs and their lottery winnings. The working classes are often the ones who spend so much on their cars and see them as a status symbol...
But really why is everyone so anti-middle class?

At 10:32 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

Firstly, it is the fact that so many kids are being driven at all that is the point. Most of the journeys are completely unnecessary, you even get congestion outside Shooters Hill post 16 campus for god's sake.

Secondly, I for one haven't mentioned the middle class either for and against. The whole thing started a a rant against Nissan Micras, hardly a class issue there.

Thirdly do you really think it doesn't make a difference if it's a Porsche Cayenne or a Golf? are you completely bonkers?
Cayenne urban MPG 12.6 Golf 42.2, CO2 rating, Porsche 358 g/km, Golf 143 g/Km and they both seat the same no. of kids.

Finally, there are anti-social selfish inconsiderate people in all walks of life who buy vehicles like the Cayenne, some may well be chav lottery winners. The two that have pissed me off in the last couple of days by driving 3 tons of metal straight at me with one hand on the wheel and a phone stuck to their bloody ear probably fall in to the category of....
entrepreneur's whose success can be traced back to their ability to meet consumers needs, which, due to current legislation, legitimate business are prevented from doing so.
But there are also some middle class wankers who are so divorced from the rest of the community they live in, that they buy these preposterous, dangerous, polluting vehicles, because they only consider there own needs, butdon't consider how what they do affects those around them.
Well if you are that kind of person, you had better expect people are gonna kick back a bit.

At 10:32 am, Blogger Hugh said...

I don't think it is Middle Class bashing at all; it is bashing people with questionable to no taste, irrespective of class. For example, many professional footballers earn huge amounts of money, but you could not brand them as being middle or upper class, even though their earnings might indicate otherwise. Look at Wayne Rooney - you can take the scum out of the slum, but not vice versa. He might be a millionaire several times over, but he is still a loutish spud faced Chav. It is these kind of vermin that tend to drive Porsche Cayennes and similar vehicles. A lack of taste and a desire for "bling" (how I detest the word!) are at the root of their misplaced desire for social mobility through choice of vehicle.
Incidentally, although I am a car enthusiast, I actually gave up driving ten years ago due to a back injury. I exclusively use public transport and never, ever fly (I even don't own a passport) but I do love quality cars and think I am doing my little bit for the environment one way or another.

At 11:41 am, Blogger sibonetic said...

I totally agree with your comments.

I also noted this week, that there was success on the 'music on public transport' front.

'Result...at last! TfL change the proposed signs on London Buses
Transport for London have surprisingly agreed to alter the onboard publicity with regard to loud music on London Buses. The Central Notice will now include the message "Turn it off, Keep it down" which clearly asks passengers to turn off music that could be played through a speaker; while those with headphones are asked to use them with consideration. This notice will be updated on all buses within the next four months.'

At 11:42 am, Anonymous t said...

It was me who quoted the words 'middle-class', I used it in relation to Colfes school in Lee. Colfes charges several thousand a term for a child to attend and so is almost exculsively middle class.

I'f you go past the school at about 8.45 am you'll see that the idiots who own them dont have the first clue about driving them.

At 1:13 pm, Blogger Hugh said...

Simon - your Anti Nissan Micra vibes have struck. Shirley's Micra broke down right on the middle of Rochester Bridge yesterday afternoon. I have just got off the phone to the garage and I am going to be nearly £400 lighter. New clutch and both CV joints. Ouch. You have good voodoo!

At 1:35 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...


Sorry to hex the good lady Shirley, but seem to be having these effects recently, said to my friend Jan the other day, have a good journey home...........she was in a jam for 2 1/2 hours.

At 10:18 am, Anonymous t said...

Anyone else notice that the roads were really quiet during rush hour this morning? It takes a school holiday to appreciate how much congestion is created through idiots insisting on ferrying their brats to school by car (or tractor).

I find it hard to understand the reasons for the increase in cars doing the school run. Are we lazier, stupider, wealthier or more paranoid?

At 10:33 am, Blogger sibonetic said...

all of the above


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