I am now a fully paid up member of an elite group of erudite and experienced women of a certain age. No longer self-effacing, I speak my mind at every twist and turn of the rocky road of what is left of my life. Yes, I am loud and proud.
The best thing is that I just don’t care anymore what people think about what I do and say. The younger generation now stand up on a bus, so I can sit down – sometimes. I can go into a bar on my own and I am confident I will not be picked up. People look at me and think “Ahh yes, there she goes. That’s one confident and distinguished woman who I can really look up to”. Yeah right, what they are really thinking is “There goes one Grumpy Old Woman”.
I seem to have turned into Victoria Meldrew overnight.
So many things seem to be getting my goat these days and one of them is earphones.
We all have them. Mine are discreet and hide away inside my ears and I only use them when walking, in the fields or on the beach. These days, a huge amount of people use them going to and from work both on Shank’s Pony and on bicycles during the rush hour.
Earphones, just in case you haven’t noticed, come in all shapes and sizes. There are ones the size of saucepans that should only be allowed in recording studios, but the size really doesn’t matter. It is the fact that people cannot hear anything outside their ear canals. “Helloooo! There is life going on around you – including traffic!” 95% of earphone users in the mornings seem to be completely oblivious that I am driving a car, along with hundreds of others. They walk out into the middle of the road right in front of me. If I honk, they can’t hear me; if I bawl and scream, they can’t hear me. They never seem to look up, let alone look left or right. What is the matter with these people?
So I am on high alert driving through town in the mornings now, which means my blood pressure on the rise before I even get to work. No doubt the guys with the earphones arrive at their workstations cool as cucumbers and completely unaware how narrowly they escaped getting knocked over.
In the UK it is not illegal to ride a bike whilst wearing earphones. I don’t believe it!