I have a confession to make. I recently found myself in a spot of trouble with the law.

Nothing serious, you understand, but I did get caught speeding on an unfamiliar stretch of road in South Manchester. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I have no recollection of driving too fast at the time and in fact, I had my wife with me when I was done and it’s like having your own personal speed limiter when she’s a passenger, constantly reminding me to slow down.

That was the bad news. The good news was my speed wasn’t too excessive so Greater Manchester Police were happy to give me the alternative of going on a ‘Speed Awareness Course’ rather than taking the fine, the points or possibly a trip to the magistrates’ court.

It was a bit of a no-brainer really.

Not only was the cost of the course less than the fine would have been, I was assured that I didn’t have to report my speeding offence to my insurers unless I was specifically asked on the application form if I had attended such a course. (Insurers normally only ask if you have been convicted or fined for a motoring offence and you can truthfully answer ‘no’ if you’ve been on the course.)

Now this is a world I have not had any contact with before and opened up a whole new range of possibilities. The first hurdle was deciding when I wanted to take the course.

I got caught just as the coronavirus lockdown was starting.

It was literally the Sunday before the full lockdown was imposed on the Monday.

In my naivety, I thought the whole Covid-19 thing would be done and dusted in a couple of months so picked a date around now, giving the longest time I could so the virus would have run its course (just how wrong can you be?).

Then there was a choice of venue. It was a toss-up between Runcorn and The Mere Golf Resort and Spa and call me judgemental but I reckoned I stood a chance of getting a better class of speeder at a posh golf club near Knutsford so Mere it was.

I duly signed up, paid my fee and waited for the course date to arrive.

I figured four and a half hours in a conference venue being told how to improve my driving awareness was a better gig than trying to explain away the points on my licence to my insurers.

But as the date arrived, I did start to become a little anxious.

I have taken all the coronavirus restrictions very seriously.

I have socially distanced, I didn’t listen to Boris Johnson when he said we could be one metre (plus mitigations) and kept well clear of other people.

I have not set foot inside another building than my home since the week before lockdown.

I even bought a brand new car without going in either the showroom or the car.

So the prospect of sitting in a room with 10 or 12 other people – even if social distancing was observed – filled me with the same sense of dread that getting on a Northern train would have done.

Then, a just before the ordeal was due to take place, technology and good sense came to my rescue.

My course was cancelled because of the virus and I was advised to find another one.

Turns out all the face-to-face speed awareness courses in the country had been knocked on the head and the only option was to go for an on-line one.

Absolute result.

The on-line course was cheaper, was two hours shorter and I was able to ‘attend’ from the comfort of my own bedroom.

So if you’re driving round the highways and byways of Cheshire and find yourself stuck behind a new Seat Ibiza that’s sticking religiously to the speed limit, don’t get mad, it might be me driving.

On a different topic, I have a family member who lives in South Manchester and is now under the new, extended lockdown. He has a few days off work and was planning to visit me this week. But he can’t.

Under the rules of the Manchester lockdown, I can’t go and meet him in the affected (or should that be infected) area as two households are no longer permitted to meet at home or in a private garden.

What if he wants to visit me? The same rule applies.

Even though I live outside the lockdown zone, he’s not allowed to come to my home.

And despite the fact pubs are remaining open, we’re not allowed to meet there with businesses being advised to monitor customers to make sure they are not interacting with other households. That’s nice and clear then.

But…There is no restriction on travelling to and from work in the Greater Manchester lockdown area.

Regular readers of this column may recall I work in an office in central Manchester. So does my relative.

The upshot of this staggeringly muddled logic is I can’t meet him outdoors at his home or in a pub beer garden but I could meet him, without restriction, in an enclosed office. You couldn’t make it up.