Sunday, 23 June 2013

Daddy's Speeding

Brett Anderson looking on disapprovingly
There is nothing more frustrating than having an unannounced little brown envelope land on your mat, which then accuses you (usually very fairly) of speeding and giving you the options of a course or points and a fine. I've had this twice in the last 6 months, both times claiming I had ignored the first letter from them and that this was my final warning before they haul me off to court.

Now the cynic in me thinks that they just save on the stamp for the first one, never sending it out, and wind the offender up with the second. These chaser letters absolutely get me grumpy for the day. The last one was the worst, being done for travelling at 55 on the motorway when I apparently should have been doing 40. This was frustrating because having done the speed awareness course last October I had become very speed aware. I had realised that speeding places often only saves fractions of minutes of time, and the fuel efficiency is excellent otherwise. The course didn't even go on about speed killing particularly, it was very well pitched. So I had become quite evangelical about speed, I would tell people about the speed limit, 'did you know if there are street lights its 30 unless there are repeaters' explaining more, 'did you know that rural lanes are the most accident prone' etc etc.

My miles per gallon had increased 10% too - which given the price of fuel was quite a lot. Every time I was filling up I would think about the album I could buy with the saved £7.

Truth be told the speed awareness course was really useful, and everyone I have spoken too who has been has enjoyed it (they've not told me whether they changed their habits but they enjoyed it). What I found was that I could relax more at the wheel, pottering along the motorway would allow you to look round, check out what was going on. The 30 mph drive to work allowed a relax to think about the day ahead etc. Why didn't I realise this earlier....

I've only had one instance of being pulled over for speeding the rest have been flashing cameras. Stupidly it was after getting rid of my Beige Metro (rust bucket, 60 mph top speed) and getting a work car scheme car, a Peugeot 306, which was able to speed. On the way up to Mrs P's Mum's house I was not really focussed enjoying the freedom of an accelerator that did what it said on the tin and got pulled. The Copper wasn't impressed with my suggestion that it was the cars fault and that I hadn't noticed.

Again after a bad day at the office I came home grumpy grumpy grumpy and whistled past a speed camera I knew near home and flash it went. Bah. I took the mother in law to Shrewsbury too, good deed and boom got flashed. All suitably stressful experiences. Even when its not me its stressful, I got a letter informing me I had been done for speeding in Bognor Regis. Writing back I noted I had never even been there and had had to look the location up on the internet to find it, and I was in another part of the country at the time honest guv. But for a few weeks waiting for the letter back I was suitably stressed (turns out the reg inputted was a typo and it wasn't me).

So I am now slow and steady, fuel efficient and stress free.

Linking this to music though isn't hard, when your favourite band's Suede immediately you are drawn to Daddy's Speeding off the magnificent Dog Man Star album. A song about James Dean's demise. A haunting, theatrical song.

Here's what I found on the web about it.


On September 30, 1955 James Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder on U.S. Route 466 (later State Route 46), when a black-and-white 1950 Ford Custom Tudor coupe, driven from the opposite direction, moved to take the fork onto State Route 41 and crossed into Dean's lane. The two cars hit almost head-on. The actor was rushed to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. Contrary to reports of his speeding, the Highway Patrol officer who attended the crash said "the wreckage and the position of Dean's body indicated his speed was more like 55 mph (88 km/h)." Suede frontman Brett Anderson told Suede.co.uk about this story of a dream/fantasy about Dean' s death: "I was immersing myself in overtly clich├ęd Hollywood iconography at the time. I guess it was an extension of the isolation/ pornography themes where I saw people forming relationships with fantasy figures rather than real people; Our new communities were soap operas, our new friends were characters in American sit-coms."
Anderson told the Suede site about his singing on the track: "I wanted to give the vocal a Lennonesque quality, that magical dreamlike way he sang songs like 'Day In The Life' and 'Across The Universe,' which I thought would complement the phased, otherworldly tone of the music."


And here's a video for this non single, its from the lost in TV DVD collection - if there's one thing to say about Suede, they have always looked after their fans with the best extras, B Sides, fan club gigs etc ever.


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