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Blog: Being judgmental is not a nice trait . . .
5:40pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Opinion
So, we’re tanning it through back country rural Gloucestershire – trying to find our stopover to break the run down to Cornwall.
Whenever we pulled over for toilets, midges descended around our heads like giant afros. It was a slow-burning Friday night and the 4x4 was horribly hot and stale.
My Buddhist Big Sister had made mincemeat of the M6, but I was in acute nicotine withdrawal and getting tetchy.
Her habit of drifting the car into the cat’s eyes while she corrected her hair and pouted, was starting to grate.
She refused to let me take the wheel after a near miss with a dust-raising quarry juggernaut.
Despite the 30C heat and kids like flies in a bottle on the back seats, I discovered the Awakened One had been rationing the in-car air conditioning since Forton.
“This is like that horror movie - Saw!,” I said.
She tutted: “It’s to conserve fuel economy...”
At the services, she pilfered complimentary sugar and milk supplies for future camping trips.
It’s the kind of sustained thriftiness which explains why I don’t drive a Kia Sportage.
I decide to stop moaning.
“Being overly judgemental isn’t a nice character trait,” she told me, then cursed a driver who pipped at us.
Soon after, we arrived at her friend's enormous five-bedroomed show home.
It’s got two garages, two American fridges and an unspoken ‘take-your-shoes off in the hall’ policy.
Touring the house, the host pointed out that the curtains alone cost £1,000. She was a lovely, welcoming woman, albeit OTT in the drapes department.
She had two kids to her first husband but was now on her (much wealthier) second. He’s not at home tonight.
As the kids play and the Chateau Lafite goes down with the sun, it’s apparent that along with the big job, big house and big salary, he’s got big problems.
Got to the top but only found the bottom.
He’s been off work for months, even stopped playing his music.
Two glinting Epiphones stand untouched against the wall of the guest bedroom.
Ah, stress and depression, the twin curses of our office age.
He often sits silently in the huge conservatory – wondering where it all went right?
Big Sister launched into full-on counsellor mode, not drawing breath for two straight hours.
The night ends with me loudly dumping bottles into the recycling bin.
Apparently, the posh neighbours are over sensitive about noise.
The next day, on the final leg to Cornwall, I wonder what’s the point of having everything if it means nothing? Better to be broke than broken?
But it doesn’t matter now because the lime green sea of the Cornish coast has come into view. And Ben, our Antipodean voiceover on the Sat Nav, quips: “Windows up, grab those sunnies and don't let the seagulls nick your chips!”
(Continues next week)
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