The past month or so, I’ve been working full-time, and most of that has been in one job that requires quite long hours — it usually starts at 9am (which is late for a driving job; they usually start around 7 or 8am) and finishes around 8pm. It involves driving an 18-tonne truck from Park Royal in north-west London, via Hemel Hempstead, to a depot outside Rotherham, and back (straight to Park Royal). What I’m doing is delivering sandwiches; the company is a major supplier of them and you can find their sandwiches in a number of high-street shops and at airports and railway stations. The upshot is that I’m earning money, but have very little time for myself at the moment and that includes for writing, particularly as I only got Saturday off this and last weekend (however, for legal reasons, I have to have three days off next weekend).

The job usually involves going straight up the M1 from the beginning to junction 31, and coming back the same way. When I know there is going to be traffic delays on the M1, I sometimes take the A1 or (if they’re far enough south) divert via Birmingham or Coventry and take the M40. The journey normally takes about three to four hours each way, although the evening journey is usually longer as I tend to hit busy points at rush hour (e.g. around Rugby where the M6 meets the M1 and they are improving that junction). The A1 is quieter than the M1, although longer, but it has a lower speed limit because it’s not a motorway, and nearer London it passes through several roundabouts, including the notorious “Black Cat” roundabout where there are often long queues northbound. The other problem with the A1 is that in parts it’s not very safe; there are short slip roads and sharp turns at junctions which means you get people pulling out at short notice into the path of faster moving vehicles in the outer lane. The worst places for this are at Newark and around Stamford. I tweeted that the time (and indeed the last time I used that road, when I went to Gateshead to see friends last summer) that the speed limits should be changed, as 50mph for trucks and 70mph for cars is not safe around those kinds of places. It should be 60mph for everyone.

So, I plan to keep on with this for the next few weeks; I have another round of class 1 HGV tuition (having failed a first, with a useless instructor, in May) provisionally booked for August. However, I do not want to be doing this job forever, because it’s tedious and leaves no time for anything else (I’m too tired to write once I’ve finished work, come home, cooked and eaten). I’ll probably post a round-up post of some of the things I’ve been wanting to write about this week, later today.

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