Driving west along the M4 in the early 70s with Ian. He says “You’re very close to that car in front.” I say “Yeah.” He says “What if his brake lights weren’t working?” I had never had a thought like that. I had had anxious thoughts but none with the special intricacy of Ian’s thought. A whole new way of looking at the world – a dull way – opened up. You could be in a situation which contained the potential for risk – take any situation, for example – and you could analyse its components with a view to identifying weaknesses that could precipitate disaster.
This is, of course, not without its merits. However, as I have observed, it is dull. That the snippet often comes to mind is, however, mildly unsettling. It suggests that one is cruising off the coast of a very worrying place. On the plus side, I suppose, is the fact that sometimes when I’m driving along the motorway the thought comes up and I brake slightly in order to recede from a car in front. This has to be a good thing.