Having made a 6am city-centre drop-off, this morning I did that rare thing and drove alone very early down a near empty motorway back home.
Its a strange experience. Almost armegeddon-like, like a set out of Day of the Triffids or The Day After. A vast car-less road lying ahead with the summer sun beating down and a shimmering heat rising up from the tarmac.
The unusual solitude gave me chance to turn up the volume of my car CD and listen to Zal Cleminson's Sin Dogs growl The Guns of God at full blast as I drove down the M62, increasing my sense of other worldliness like one of those wide-eyed survivors in the film Quiet Earth or the sad rejects of Project S.W.O.R.D.
During the drive, I also partook in another rare thing, a classic MacDonalds breakfast of coffee and double sausage egg McMuffin. There was hardly anyone else eating at 6.30am.
Despite Maccy D's tinkering with the interior and its urge to streamline the sales counter to almost nothing, McDonalds and co, ubiquitous embassies of American culture, always guarantee a warm welcome for the early morning driver seeking breakfast in the concrete sprawl. Except for the hard-to-find greasy spoon, I can't really think of a home-grown equivalent offering this early morning service.
And so, suitably refreshed with beef and java and contemplating new apocalyptic horizons for my old Sarge stories, I resumed my morning cruise back home along a near empty motorway.