In case you are wondering, I can’t write about the elections because they are held when our deadline has come and gone – which is pretty inconsiderate of whoever decided on the date and time.

On that note, why are elections always held on a Thursday? In New Zealand it is always a Saturday, which seems a bit more sensible as people aren’t at work and can go out and vote.

On the other hand, I suppose at weekends you are more inclined to be lazier so you might have more incentive to pop in to a polling station on your way to or from work.

Anyway, without elections to talk about, the only other thing on the horizon is Christmas.

Well, for everyone else it is. For me there is only disaster on the horizon – I have become a criminal!

I got a letter in the post which I left for a couple of days because I thought it was just a pay slip.

When I finally opened it I discovered to my horror that it was from the police informing me that I had been caught speeding and I could either go to a driving class, get demerit points on my licence or go to court.

I have been driving for over 30 years and never had a blotch on my licence, never mind a demerit point.

Apparently I must have been travelling into Flimby and not slowed down enough at the 30mph sign and was caught doing 35mph.

I am trying to make this column sound funny but I am actually devastated! Never mind the fact that I have just had to pay £82 for this course and the humiliation of attending, I really worry about speeding.

In New Zealand I was the sole reporter covering an area about the size of Allerdale and my husband was in charge of all the roads in the same area.

The number of times we met at tragic road accidents is incalculable. Between us we saw so many fatalities caused by three main reasons – drink, fatigue and speed.

New Zealand, and our area in particular, had a terrible death toll. There weren’t nearly as many cars as here; there were a lot more gravel roads though, and a lot more drivers, especially young ones, who thought they were immortal and found they weren’t.

I have a friend who will not travel during the festive season because there will inevitably be multiple deaths and she doesn’t want to become a statistic.

So, while I am trying to laugh about my ticket, I am horrified, humiliated and just plain mortified at what has happened.

When I phoned to book my course a lovely woman booked me in and assured me that the others at the course would be the same as me.

“If you were a boy racer you wouldn’t be given the option of the course,” she said.

“The police know that this is more a momentary lack of concentration than anything else.”

That makes me feel better – but not much!

I feel like a criminal!