A Driving Instructor's Blog


Cartoon cars, head-on crashA couple of days ago, I updated my article on Driving Tests and Lesson in Snow after someone found the blog due to their instructor claiming he wasn’t covered to drive in icy conditions.

Cancelling lessons because it is dangerous is fine, but I am not aware of any insurance policy which would preclude driving. I didn’t think much of it after I’d updated the article – but then I came across this story. It seems that some moron on Twitter started the rumour, and other morons have picked it up and run with it.

Police and insurers have assured people that insurance is valid even in the worst weather conditions. Obviously, the same rules apply in bad weather as they do in good weather. Namely, if you drive like a twat and have an accident, your insurance may be affected.

It is possible that the original reader’s instructor had also seen this story and been suckered by it.


Giant KittenOr, what the media insists on referring to as “The Beast from the East”.

It’s a bit nippy, though not dramatically so, and there are frequent light snow flurries. Every hour or three there is a heavy flurry, which settles – then melts almost completely as soon as the sun comes out. And this is speaking from an “Amber Warning” area of the UK.

The BBC has reporters standing in bright sunshine with no visible lying snow, trying desperately to explain why a form of transport from Victorian times – and one which the government is trying to invest in “for the future” – has to cancel trains en masse.

Needless aerial footage of the “chaos” from “disaster areas” shows snow depths barely covering the grass. Weather maps are all being carefully crafted to make sure it looks like London is in one of the “disaster areas”. Evidence for the “disaster” amounts to a drone shot of some bloke walking quite easily across a snowy field.

Some prats have crashed during rush hour because they were driving too fast. Roads are being described as “treacherous” by Police, as if they have never been so before following previous (and much heavier) snowfalls.

Schools are closing when there isn’t enough snow to build even a passable British Snowman. And KFC is still operating a “restricted menu”, so the little darlings will have to go somewhere else.

What a bunch of wusses we have become in this country.

For me, the biggest annoyance is the rapid build up of 1cm of crap on my windows and headlights every time I start driving. Closely followed by irritation at the twats who are overtaking me and cutting in.


Glacier - an ice age comethThe Sun is at it again. I saw a small item in today’s paper copy reporting that it will be -15°C by the end of the week, and that it will stay like this until the end of March. Oddly, the front page of the online version’s UK news has a story about how plants are blooming a month early, since spring is on the way.

I’m not sure quite what it is they’re trying to get at, since this winter has not been uncharacteristically cold, mild, wet, or dry. It’s been a bit of all those things, just like British winters tend to be.

It’s worth noting that the Met Office isn’t forecasting anything like what The Sun is. Neither is Netweather.

And this is why I wanted in on the ground floor! All The Sun’s blather about snow over the last fortnight came to nothing. Even places which had any barely saw more than a centimetre (for Brexiters, that’s about three eighths of an inch). And as for it being colder than on the dark side of the moon until the end of March, today the temperature ranged from lows of around 7°C to highs of 10°C, and the forecast – the proper forecast from the Met Office and not some two-bit amateur outfit using seaweed and pine cones – is for temperatures as high as 12°C into the middle of next week.

Fair enough, we have had quite a bit of rain today which, after all, is only unfrozen snow, but still not quite the new Ice Age that The Sun was assuring us was underway.


The Met Office has revealed the names it will be assigning to storms during 2017/18. Here they are:Storm Names 2017/18 - Met Office

You could just leave it at that. If you’re like me, though, you might see something a little more sinister.

Once upon a time, hurricanes were always given female names. In our modern PC world, though, this is totally unacceptable, and nowadays they use a mixture of male and female names. I believe that they alternate – so one hurricane will be female, the next male, the next female, and so on.

The Met Office – which started naming “storms” in the UK last year – has been giving them both male and female names from the start. As you know, all science in the UK simply has to involve children (and people with the kinds of children), which explains why you get names like Oisin and Wilbert.

I mean, there have been about six people named Wilbert in the last 100 years. Most of them are dead (a bit like the name, really), and those who aren’t nearly are. And although Oisin is apparently a top choice for Irish language boys’ names in Ireland, I can honestly say that the only time I’ve ever come across it is in ancient Irish literature (Oisin was the son of Fionn MacCool) through one of my favourite bands, Horslips.

The sinister part to my mind is that there are 11 male names and only 10 female ones. Can you imagine the uproar and demands for resignations that would follow if it was the other way around? And I reckon it’s only a matter of time before they start naming them retrospectively – or renaming them after the event – so that damaging ones don’t go down in history as having female names.

I’d bet money that someone somewhere has already raised that one in a meeting.


The BBC website is full of stories today about how poor Londoners and Home Counties residents had some heavy thunderstorms yesterday. Apparently, “one month’s worth of rain fell on London is less than 24 hours.” A prominent table shows how Reading had 20mm of rain, Hampton 41mm, and Farnborough 46mm.

Mmmm. Just in case they missed it, Nottingham had a recorded total of 55mm of rain over three days between 14-16 June (20mm was recorded on 15 June). There is only one Met Office station up here, at Watnall, and the heaviest localised rainfall was definitely not there, and actual rainfall at such locations was certainly much higher. Many homes and businesses were flooded. But that never got into the news headlines. And all this applied to areas of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire.

There are a couple of dozen Met Office stations in and around London – or what is considered to be “London” when the media is reporting things. The rainfall figures from yesterday are much less likely to have missed any extreme localised events.

As the title says, all that matters is London. No one else exists on the front pages.


They’ve been naming hurricanes (all right, cyclones) for years. They all used to have female names, but someone somewhere decided that this was sexist and now they alternate between male and female. Apparently, they have six lists for the North Atlantic, each list comprising names beginning with the letters A-W, but excluding Q and U. Usually, they only have to use about half of the names each year.Heavy rain

Britain has decided to get in on the act and has begun naming our storms, but in true British style they opened it up to the public – no doubt with prizes being awarded to the best papier mâché models, covered in glitter and dried spaghetti. As a result, possible names include: Clodagh, Frank, Gertrude, Desmond, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Eva, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy. We’ve already had Barney, Eva, and Abigail, while Frank recently strutted his stuff. You just KNOW that the names relate to relatives and children of typical Daily Mail readers.

Laughably, virtually every storm cloud that comes across bringing rain or wind is getting named at the moment. At this rate we’re going to need another twenty names before the end of the winter.

(Obviously, this does not detract from the problems those whose homes were flooded are having to cope with).