Reader, I’m afraid I swore violently, and I am embarrassed.

Not because I have any moral objection to swearing, but because it’s unbecoming of a bald middle-aged man in a Dacia to be loudly casting aspersions about the intellect of person unknown in a Kia hatchback. They’re probably very nice anyway.

But for Pete’s sake, why this messing around when the traffic lights go green? I’d lined up behind them, and we’d both lined up on the right side of a bus, at a junction after which two lanes would later filter into one.

I figured we’d both make it away in front of the bus. Kia: apparently not so. Eventually, after a fumble, brake lights off, then on, then some handbrake and gearlever faffery, they pulled away, with just about time and space, although it was a bit marginal, to squeeze in front of the bus. I gently filtered in behind. Then swore at the Kia some more as I cruised at a steady 18mph, watching the Kia disappear.

It was early morning, half six-ish, in an increasingly busy Aylesbury. And I watched through the gloom as the Kia’s tail-lights made it through the next set of traffic lights that, because of their sleepiness, I did not. More swearing. I know it’s petty and I know it wasn’t deliberate and I had time in hand (arrive early; do some writing while waiting).

But still. I watched as that couple of seconds’ dallying cost me one traffic light rotation. So two seconds of delay became at least 30 seconds. While stationary, the lights to my right turned green, perhaps a dozen cars filtered through and took up station at the next set of reds down the road. They would make it through its upcoming rotation, and I would not. Thirty-odd seconds became over a minute.

With rush-hour looming, and me sitting at another red, yet more commuters between me and my destination would join the road, and that one driver’s hesitation would push me ever further backwards. There aren’t enough asterisks to cover my cursing.

If those two seconds cost me, eventually, five minutes, that’s time I could have used to correct the spelling and put more jokes in this column. Just so you know who to blame.

They say time is money, but this is cobblers: it’s much, much more precious than that. It’s the most valuable thing we have. It has, I’ll admit, been a while. This felt like – was – a commute at a normal time between and through normal commuter towns and, with a flexible job and employer (in case you’re tempted to apply for one of Haymarket’s excellent vacancies), I tend not to have to make those.