Coun­try Mouse

Com­mon cour­te­sies

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

WHEN we owned Snowy, a long-wheel­base Land Rover De­fender, one of the un­writ­ten rules was that you flashed your lights at any other ve­hi­cle of the same species com­ing to­wards you. It was one of those lit­tle pleas­antries of life that cheered me up.

Lon­don would come to a com­plete stand­still if driv­ers didn’t let other cars turn from side streets in front of them and, hap­pily, this kind act is al­most al­ways greeted with a wave of grat­i­tude. Our nat­u­ral po­lite­ness keeps the cap­i­tal on the go. Why then do a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of peo­ple in the coun­try­side fail to ob­serve this same com­mon cour­tesy? Dog walk­ers, cy­clists and horse rid­ers all ben­e­fit from cars slow­ing down to pass them. It’s sim­ply safer and all it re­quires is a lit­tle wave or a nod of ac­knowl­edge­ment to keep ev­ery­one happy. It’s an in­vest­ment in your fu­ture safety.

How­ever, in the days when I was rid­ing a lot, I could pre­dict with al­most unerring ac­cu­racy from the make of the car whether it would slow down or not. White vans were the worst, but it may not come as a sur­prise that the happy driv­ers of the De­fend­ers were the best.

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