Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Look Out, Behind You!

I am still very concerned by the danger of overtaking cars approaching from behind me, as I walk along the public roads. And I have had an idea on which I would welcome comments and advice.

To recap, in France, I normally walk on the left-hand edge of the road, facing the traffic. Most traffic coming towards me pulls out - if not I can at least see this happening and hopefully take evasive action, then of course wave my fist. Traffic from behind should obviously be on the other side of the road, but sometimes an overtaking car, or worse, a truck, will be on my side. I will not see it coming, and have frequently had a very close shave as one has virtually brushed my shoulder. An error of judgement on the part of the driver, or a slight stumble in my step, or deviation from the straight line (something which, amazingly, is not taken into account by these lunatics) and it would be curtains for yours truly.

I had a bit of a brainwave about this while walking back from Esperaza market on Sunday. You will have seen those harnesses which some performers use (I remember that Bob Dylan had one in his early days - maybe he still does - I would know if only I could bear to listen to him). Some sort of strapping over the shoulders, then a small metal frame which holds up a harmonica in front of the mouth, so that blowing and guitar playing can take place at the same time. These things are not specially made for the Dylans of this world, they are readily available from music suppliers, and on eBay.

I wonder if it would be feasible to attach a bicycle rear-view mirror (or "meer", as some Americans say) to the upright of this thing so that I could see any approaching marauders? It would all look a bit odd, but if it saved my life that would be bearable. Maybe I could even take advantage of it to play the mouth organ as I scamper along?

If it works, it would be useful to others as well, of course.

I would be very interested to hear any comments on this, or other suggestions. If you do not know how to leave a comment on my blog, I explain this in an earlier posting (5th of September 2008), or you could e-mail me at:

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