Got by a speed camera
The crime in question took place in the lovely village of Woodstock, where I had been on an away day/night with my Leverhulme research project. For those who don't know it, Woodstock is a charming and rich village just outside Oxford -- just next to the Duke of Marlborough's stately pile at Bleinheim. On this visit, I discovered that His Grace charges a whacking four quid just to walk in his park (you cant get into he house itself in January). His forelock-tugging servants on the cash desks hadn't heard of the 'right to roam'. But more of that on another time.
Why did it feel unfair?
Well, for a start, I was leaving on Monday lunch-time with a stinking cold and a fuzzy head. And I was more fuzzled as the Sat Nav had refused to work and to find me the back-road that I knew must exist, between Woodstock and Bicester. I was cross and feverish -- and in between sneezes, leaving the town, I saw the 50 mile an hour speed limit coming up in front of me. Just at that minute I saw the camera flashing in the mirror behind me.
OK you might say - if you have a nasty cold and a high temperature , maybe you shouldn't be driving. Reasonable point, but what should you do? In this case it was a genuine error. I can't claim never to drive faster than the speed limit lays down. But I'm not the kind of girl to use pretty villages as a rat run.
The rest of the journey I kept rigorously under every speed limit I came across, and was of course over-taken by hundreds of cars doing a good bit over the limit. No cameras -- unfair, I thought.
The emotions went different ways in the course of the journey. My feverish state at the beginning conjured up all kinds of visions of children mowed down by careless women like me doing 38 miles per hour. By the end of the journey, I was feeling a bit better and I remembered all those stories about how speed cameras may flash without getting you. They don't always have film in them, someone told me.
Is it really the case that these yellow boxes actually have FILM in them? Maybe not. But maybe even the digital snapper isn't always switched on.
So I'm waiting to see if a nasty brown envelope slips through the door. What are my chances of escaping? And how long before I can relax?