Author Jane Ryan talks to Geraldine Herbert about bad driving habits, road rage and dream passengers
Your current car? Volvo XC 60, diesel 142-D. It’s Caspian blue and cream leather, not perhaps the most child-friendly colour combination but I love it and regularly polish the seats, reminding me of my old horse riding days when I’d have to soap saddles!
Is a car important to you? Yes, hugely. I’d love to say I use public transport extensively but I don’t. I live near dart and bus stops but I find the timetables are hit and miss plus at key periods both are jam packed. The convenience of a car outweighs the challenges of parking for me, but I am looking at an electric car. I would use a bicycle but the Rock Road is one of my main tributaries to anywhere and it’s hellish for bikes.
What do you use your car for? For everything, I have two boys and am always on the school run or carpooling. As an author I have the privilege of travelling around to meet book shop owners, I have seen some of the most beautiful independent and main stream books stores in the country and I like to drive, the peace on the roads when you get out very early or when you’re travelling off peak is delightful.
When choosing your next car is it the efficiency, performance or the environment that would be the key consideration? For me it’s the environment and I’m watching all the programmes and articles on which electric car to buy, which will go for miles on a charge and of course affordability.
Any bad habits? Tons and I drive too fast, but I am polite on the road.
What sort of state is your car in (inside or out)? Clean freak. . .I find mess uncomfortable and as I spend quite a bit of time in my car I like it to be clean – of course it doesn’t always work out that way particularly in the winter when collecting children from football, rugby or gaelic! – but if the car is clean I enjoy my journeys more.
What’s in the boot and the glove compartment? In the boot is a dog cage, I take the dog on many of the short journeys so his cage is in the boot. In the glove compartment, it’s service manuals and warranties, holy water my friend Sharon brought me back from Knock (I’ve never had a crash, touches plastic Virgin Mary) and wet wipes. I can never have enough of those.
How would you describe your driving, then? I believe I’m quite safe – not driving Miss Daisy – but I want to be considerate on the roads and have an abhorrence of people flashing lights or making gestures. . .life’s just too short!
Ever crashed, got a parking ticket or points? Definitely a couple of parking tickets. . .who knew traffic wardens wore blue! I find the parking bays tight and the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown traffic wardens are very efficient when you’re parking ticket expires I had four points in total for speeding. . .but I maintain I got them where it was like shooting fish in a barrel. . .but I would say that, wouldn’t I?
Have you ever experienced road rage (either passively or actively)? Yes, very recently on the way to Wexford and it was a woman, clapping and jeering behind me (all manner of gestures) as I wouldn’t overtake a tractor on double white lines. She pulled out and literally had to jam on her brakes as a car was coming straight at her. .. double whites are there for a reason!
What was your first car? Peugeot 106, turquoise with a natty blue interior! Child of the nineties.
Dream drive in a dream location? Amalfi coast in an Aston Martin DB9
Who would be your dream passenger? Nora Ephron, because we’d laugh and laugh. . .wonderful witty woman, may she rest in peace.
Passenger, you’d least like? Can I say Trump? Does everyone say Trump? I’d throw Ivanka in there too.
Jane Ryan studied with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and has worked in the technology industry for over twenty years. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two sons. Her stories are published online with Creativewriting.ie and in print. Jane was shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Awards and her latest short story appeared in an anthology entitled Strange Love Affairs. 47 Seconds is her first novel
You can listen back here to Jane’s recent interview with Pat Kenny on Newstalk
15th July 2019