Cereal offenders used to be the people serving 'breakfast' on public transport (not drivers on the Queensferry Crossing) – Susan Morrison

Clearly the introduction of the self-driving car cannot come quickly enough for the young woman fined recently for eating cereal whilst in control of a vehicle on the Queensferry Crossing.

Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:55 am
Motorists should refrain from eating cereal while driving, but bus passengers may wish to try a pint of porridge (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Well, we’ve all been there. Busy morning, kids’ gym gear gone AWOL, packed lunches to make and all before we can get in the car to get to work. When I was a working mum, I was constantly ten minutes behind schedule no matter what time I got up.

Mind you, I took the bus to work, so downing a bowl of Coco-Pops en route would have been tricky, but just about doable. Oh, I know. Mad. Cereal and milk on the Number 12? A bus more rammed than the last helicopter from Saigon? I hear you. I’ve thought about this.

Stick your milk and cereal in a pint measure to prevent the dangers of spillage and you’re in business. Better still, swap flyaway breakfast cereal for porridge. That’ll stick to your ribs, any container you put it in and the jackets of anyone accidentally plopped by escaping oaty goodness. I feel that ‘plop’ is the correct word to describe the landing of porridge.

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Of course, my morning commute was a long time ago. In those pre-millennium days, the idea of picking up breakfast-on-the-move was unthinkable. There just wasn’t the infrastructure, y’see.

At a push, you could grab a Mars Bar with your newspaper from the newsagents. There were bacon rolls, but they were for special occasions and never to be consumed on the bus. Takeaway coffee was available. If you dared.

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These days even darkest Leith can provide a croissant and darned good coffee for the morning run, although you run the danger of being side-eyed by an achingly cool barista who obviously considers you’re too old for his hand-ground beans.

The trains weren’t much better, even though they could boast trolleys staffed by cheery souls. I’m making it up about the cheery souls. Smiling was widely considered superfluous in Scottish customer service situations.

Frequently the trolley was trundled through the carriage by a sad wee lad mumbling “Teaorcoffee?” with the air of a carter pushing for business through plague-ridden streets, muttering “Bring out your dead”.

Possibly he was depressed by the breakie choice. Back then, ScotRail seemed to believe that their coffee was best matched with shortbread fingers, Royal Scot biscuits, or salt ’n’ vinegar crisps. None of which screams breakfast.

One startling day on the early morning Edinburgh-Glasgow run, an American had somehow seized control of the trolley. He burst into the carriage hollering “Good morning! It’s a glorious day! What can I get you fine folks today? I have coffee and tea!”

Cue an entire carriage of startled Scots commuters shoving their faces into their newspapers so hard you could see the ink staining their clutching fingers.

I dared. I bought a coffee, and was hugely delighted when he shrieked “My god! What IS this stuff?”

Never saw that guy again. I like to dream that we sent him homeward to think again and he set up some coffee and croissant takeaway chain that spread to Scotland, thus blazing a trail for decent breakfasts on the go for my young working-mum sisters today.

But please, don’t attempt to wolf down cornflakes whilst driving a car.