The Magic Roundabout

The second in a series of short blogs sharing some insights into the trials and tribulations of driving with Parkinson’s.

Back in the ’70’s I remember watching the Magic Roundabout, a children’s television show featuring (L-R) Ermintrude, Florence, Brian, Dougal, Zebedee and Dylan. The opening scene showed various characters on the Magic Roundabout, going round and round in circles.

The Magic Roundabout Theme Tune
Little did I know at the time, that some 45 year's later, my driving would remind me of this much loved children’s television show. Just like the characters in the opening scene, I'm on a roundabout (albeit without the thrill of magic or signature music) and go round and round in circles. This is never what I intend to do. However, sometimes, when driving, I approach a roundabout and no matter how familiar it may be or how many times I have used it before, I have a complete mental blank and struggle to recall which roundabout I am on and which exit I need to take. Thankfully, this useful piece of information has never eluded me completely and during one of my 360 degree laps, I inevitably recall where I am supposed to exit. That said, I have been known to complete three laps of the roundabout and still get off on the wrong exit! 

It appears that the well documented impairment of visual-spatial skills, common in Parkinson's, is the most likely cause of for my 'Magic Roundabout' experiences. Visual-spatial skills help you create a mental picture of your surroundings and tell you where you are in relation to other objects. These skills enable you to give directions, judge the distance between your car and the one in front of you, and find your way home after a walk around the neighbourhood. It might also explain my reputation when cycling for being the one in the group who can get lost absolutely anywhere, even with a map. 

PS Mum. You only need worry when I start behaving like Ermintrude. x
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