Tag Archives: RCHS

Headlights to Auto. Phasers to Stun*.


Automatic headlights are great, right? Sensors detect dusk or dullness and switch on your dipped beams. In darkness they switch to main beams, then dip again for oncoming traffic or whenever you follow red rear lights. So far so good. So why did that taxi driver glare at me? It took a while to work out. So here goes…

Dull day. Dipped beams come on automatically. Oncoming taxi indicates to turn right, across my path. It stops, waiting for me to pass. As I approach it cuts across me. We almost collide. I quietly (ha ha) curse every taxi driver in the world.
But I flashed him, didn’t I? I let him know I was happy for him to turn across my path. Well no, I didn’t. My car did.

I had passed under a low bridge. Car detected darkness. Main beams came on, then immediately off again. My car flashed the taxi driver, telling him I was happy for him to turn in front of me.
Years ago I was taught never to flash my lights at other drivers, because it is their job to decide what is safe for them to do. My car needs to be told that.

Just the very thought of driverless cars scares me silly. They do not know how to behave.

* I am no trekkie. One definition = Saying “set phasers to stun” is like modern police or military saying “check the safety on your weapon.”  (That’s what it says on Google so it must be true)

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Palette gardening

I have been away, building a garden. Well, not away, exactly. It just felt like it. The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (reduced to less of a mouthful as RCHS) holds its annual flower show at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens in March each year and some time ago I found myself co-opted into contributing to this event by constructing a palette garden. What, you may ask, is a palette garden? I have been involved with the construction industry long enough to know what a palette is, but a palette garden? A garden that fits on a palette? A palette that is lifted by a fork-lift truck? No, not exactly. It just happens to be one-metre square, the size of a palette.

Anyway, it won 2nd prize. I was aided and abetted by Tracy, without whom (as they say) the garden might not have been built… constructed… finished… might well not have won second prize.

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