Today is the 6th January,
Which you may know as Epiphany,
In the Christian tradition,
Which is celebrated as,
When the Three Kings,
Arrived to give Jesus,
Their presents.

In France,
This date is celebrated,
By the eating of a,
Gallette de Rois,
Which is a frangipani paste,
Baked in puff pastry,
With a few extras added in.

My family came across this,
By way of a friendship my wife developed,
When she went to a toddlers’ group,
With our eldest child,
Over twenty years ago now.

The other family moved away,
But over the years,
We kept in touch,
And we meet up a few times a year,
And at some point,
We met on the 6th January,
And ate said Gallette.

It is now a poignant date,
Because our friend died,
Over a year ago now,
So this is the second time,
We have met up,
To eat a Gallette de Rois,
Without her.

And whilst meeting up is important,
I have to acknowledge,
That there is a cost involved,
An expenditure in energy,
That I choose to give.

No just in seeing people,
And spending time with them,
Eating and drinking,
Asking questions,
Concentrating on answers,
Listening to tales,
Old and new,
All the things I suppose,
The average person,
Takes for granted.

But an energy expenditure,
In getting there,
I drive,
Because that is the most direct,
And least time consuming,
Way to travel to their house,
And whilst I don’t particularly,
Get stressed by taking the wheel,
There is the energy required,
To concentrate on my surroundings,
On obeying the rules of the road,
On deciding when it is safe,
To overtake,
Or switch lanes.

It was misty today,
So the roads were a bit damp,
And well salted,
So every time a car overtook,
It left more dirt,
On the windscreen,
And so I am monitoring,
When it is a good time,
To use the wipers and washer jets,
After all,
I don’t want to run out,
Of liquid when I most need it.

I am also conscious of the time,
We agreed to leave at eleven,
But the others weren’t ready,
In fact my partner thought,
A quarter past was the departure time,
Five minutes before that.
She had some cards to deliver though,
So we left at half past the hour,
It happens,
A lot in this family,
So no surprise really,
But it’s an added extra,
I could do without.

I fall asleep on the sofa,
After the main meal,
But before the Gallette,
We were viewing some photos,
Of Oslo at the time,
I think.

This family are used to me sleeping,
We used to put it down to liver disease,
And then the pills,
After the transplant,
I would always need a snooze,
And a cup of coffee,
Before driving home.

It was an assumption,
That may or may not be true.
I am more likely,
To put it down,
To my autistic differences,
And the energy expenditure,
Seemingly significant,
To interact with others,
And process stimuli.

The drive home,
Was worse in some ways,
There was more dampness around,
So the salt was washed away,
With free water from the sky,
So that was good,
There was also,
No particular time limit,
Also good,
But it was dark,
Which means headlights,
Which means pain.

I wish I could invent,
Sunglasses that,
Dynamically detect,
Where the bright lights are,
And only dim,
That part of the lens,
I might be able,
To get excited by that,
That sounds like,
Augmented reality though,
So perhaps,
It already exists.

Motorway driving,
Isn’t too bad.
The oncoming headlights,
Are obscured by barriers,
And the tail lights are red,
A much less painful colour,
Or is it because they are,
Less intense?
I say this,
Because some people,
Don’t know the,
The Highway Code.

It was misty you see,
And some drivers,
Feel the need,
To put fog lamps on.
But these are only to be used,
When visibility is seriously reduced,
It wasn’t.
Being able to see tail lights,
Twenty seconds,
In front of you,
Means there is no need,
For fog lamps.

It is hard to believe,
That people don’t know,
How bright,
Rear fog lamps are,
And how confusing,
They make,
Seeing when a car is braking.

I gave a car,
That overtook me,
A quick,
Double flash,
Of my full beam lights,
It wasn’t even misty,
To my surprise,
The rear fog lamps,
Were turned off.

Was that a coincidence?
It would appear not,
For a few minutes later,
Another car past,
When it wasn’t misty,
With fog lights on too.
I double flashed again,
And again.
The lights went out.
Perhaps I can change the world,
With simple actions.

I often dream,
Of being a policeman,
Pulling over drivers,
Patiently explaining,
How they are breaking the law,
With these infractions,
And why it is important,
To consider,
The people around you,
I would even hand out fines,
To get the point across.

But I make mistakes too,
I sometimes forget to indicate,
When I change direction,
I sometimes forget,
To switch my headlights on,
When it is getting dark,
Or go through an amber light,
When I am in a hurry.

I am a good driver,
But I am not perfect,
And I need to be careful,
Not to drive,
When I am too tired.