Monday, August 1, 2011

A Close Shave with the Police

I was driving home after doing my taxi driving duties for my 17 year old son this afternoon when I was confronted by a policeman who beckoned me to pull over.  My heart sank.  I immediately felt guilty – why do we do that even if we have nothing to feel guilty about? 

I’m not sure why he chose me, maybe it was just chance or maybe it was the stupid faces I was pulling practicing the facial exercises I’d just read about on the internet to reduced wrinkles – that’ll teach me!. 

Anyway, whatever it was I felt it was a miracle.  Why, I hear you ask?  Well, just yesterday I’d noticed that the green insurance badge displayed on the windscreen of my car had expired by 2 weeks.  This is usually sent a month or so in advance, so I realised I must have missed the letter somehow.  It’s been a busy few months (or should I say years) and I’ve got a bit behind with the paperwork.  This morning I persuaded my son that he if he wanted that lift to town this afternoon the deal was he watch his little brothers and sister while I do a bit of paperwork.  I set to work going through the papers on my desk and right at the bottom was an unopened envelope from our Insurance Company et voila – the missing green Insurance paper I was looking for.  So, I popped the appropriate piece into the plastic wallet on my dashboard and made lunch.

I know it’s not a big miracle or even a particularly important one, but I was so relieved that I’d found it when literally hours later I was pulled over for the first time in years.  I’m not sure what the penalty would have been (if any) for not having the appropriate insurance displayed, but I’m sure they would have given me more of a hard time and if nothing else I would have had to go to the police station later to produce the document.

As it was, he pointed to my daughter sat in her car seat in the back and said “Centure?” (Seat belt), so I leaned over and showed him she was wearing a seat belt it was just hidden by her tee shirt.  He then proceeded to study the lights and tyres (which we’d happened to have replaced only last Friday as they were dangerously low).  He studied the Insurance disk (phew) and the CT (MOT) all OK.  Checked the back breaks – all fine.  Then he asked if I had my driving license on me.  Yes I did and I knew exactly where it was as I had looked at it earlier today while in “paperwork” mode, to check when it expires (2012, so I’m alright for now).. I handed it over and the Policeman studied it and asked if I was German to which I replied “Non, Anglaise”.  He then asked why it had UK on it – was I Ukrainian????  No, I explained, UK stands for United Kingdom – Royaume-Uni!  Surely he’s seen a British License before? (I didn’t say that to him of course)  I was about to get my passport out to prove it, but he took my word for it and let me on my way without another word.

It’s not ground breaking stuff, but just one of those strange “coincidences” that happen from time to time that keep life interesting.


  1. I haven't been stopped by the UK police yet, but that would make me really nervous! Whew, sounds like you dodged a few bullets.

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog (I read quite a few from your sidebar) - interestingly, when you write about the differences between the UK and France, I learn more about my new host country, England. XOL

  2. Thanks Laura, glad you're enjoying the blog. I only started blogging a couple of months ago, so it's great to get feedback and know that people are reading it.
    Interesting that they help you understand the UK more, I suppose it's because I'm living in France I notice things about the UK that I would normally have taken for granted.
    It's great to live in a different culture to your own - I think everyone should try it :)