Snow is falling,
All around me
Cars are skidding
Why on earth
Did I start this journey?
What a SHITE WAY
To spend the year.
As you have probably guessed I got trapped in the recent snow bomb. I would like to say it wasn’t all my fault but when I saw the amount of snow that was on the roads I really shouldn’t have left the warm,safe fortress that is my parents house. The main catalyst in my day was the fact that BBC Weather are liars. I’ve said it before and I say it again never trust their forecasts. I naively made my way to my parents that weekend, safe in the knowledge that the snow wasn’t going to start until 9am Sunday.
A light dusting they said.
Fine. I can get up, leave at 8am, be home by 9am and sit in my pants and watch it all blow over.
7.30am Sunday morning my bedroom door slowly opened and the silhouette of a man appeared before me. I could see a white beard, kind eyes and a curvy figure.
“No its dad. I’ve got you a bacon sandwich and a tea. It’s snowing so you might want to go soon.”
I grumbled and slowly walked to the window. I can’t remember my exact words but it was something along the lines of ‘SHIT A BRICK’.
About a foot of snow had plonked itself on every possible surface. Cars. Branches on trees. Birds. Caked it in.
I wolfed down the bacon sandwich and tea and got dressed. I was down and out in the snow in a flash. The floor was gorgeous to walk on, fresh snow compressing underfoot is always a nice sensation. The dual carriageway over the fence had a reassuringly steady stream of traffic so I just had to navigate out of the icy cul-de-sac and I would be on my way.
Or so I thought.
As I made my way out of the street the roads were slippy but nothing unmanageable. I kicked into auto pilot immediately. High gear low speed. Don’t break hardly. Turn into the spin. All that rubbish!
The problem was it was still snowing. Big, fluffy flakes were landing on my windscreen at an alarming rate. Nearly at the A road I told myself. That’ll be clearer and safer. Then it’s A roads practically the whole way home.
I made my way towards the A421- 25mph, 5th gear, wheel held at the advised ten and two position. Shoulders tensed and hunched up high like the people you see leaning in for the buzzer on the final round of University Challenge. Grip excessively tight.
Then I ground to an almighty halt. Myself and the other onslaught of cars all sat there puzzled, anxious and suddenly concerned.
Turns out a large lorry had underestimated his load, as many long vehicles tend to do, and had careered into the side barrier and the arse of his van was covering both lanes.
I glanced around through the steamed up windows and snow drops. Suddenly a curvy male silhouette made its way through the snow towards my car.
There was a knock on the drivers side window, which I cautiously addressed with a slow lowering of the window pane.
A friendly face in a West Ham beanie hat was smiling at me
“You alright love?”
“Yep, well .. whats happening, has there been a crash?”
“Jackknifed lorry, we’ll be here for hours. This happened to me 15 years ago on the M11 – 12 hour we were there! Just make sure you move the car every 30 minutes so the brakes don’t freeze.”
He nodded reassuringly and waded off back to his car through the heavy falling snow and slippery ground.
I had no food. Little water. Mediocre phone battery. Panic was setting in as rapidly as the wintery shower.
I’m sure his intentions were not to alarm me, but being someone who is scared to open the door (Stacey I never spoke to you) having a stranger knock on my window and put the willies up me (not like that) by saying we could be here for 12 hours absolutely petrified me.
Petrified me to the point of bladder compression. Here we go again I thought.
To be fair, I hadn’t ‘christened’ this car yet, so at least I wasn’t making a habit of using my car as a portaloo, even though this is the second story of such I am sharing with you.
I started wracking my brain as to what I could fashion a potty out of. No empty screen wash bottles this time, it’s time to think outside the box. Or in this case, inside a box.
I had a shoe box and a carrier bag with only a few holes in(god bless you Mum for sending me away with endless bags of stuff).
Eureka. No don’t think that it’s too much like ‘urea’.
Bingo! I thought.
I clambered into the back, used the emergency XXL high viz that my dad has always been insistent I keep in my car as a blanket and positioned myself over the shoe box in the foot well.
I was suddenly grateful that I hadn’t purchased that Toyota AYGO and went for the Mazda instead. Not only can you fit more in the boot but you have enough room for emergency toilet facilities.
The rest is history, all that remained was for me to open the back door and gently empty the shoe box and carrier bag onto the snow.
I should have then stayed in the car but so many people were wandering around I wanted to see what was going on. Curiosity coupled with an empty bladder will always result in a wander, regardless of the terrain. The problem was the high viz gave a false impression that I was a person of authority or with any sort of knowledge of the situation.
I was asked by two men what was going on. I advised of the jackknifed lorry and mentioned about the brakes freezing. To my surprise I was presented with nods of agreement and even a “thanks for the tip.”
I returned smug to my car feeling like a traffic cop. What a great job that would be to have.
Hard shoulder privileges, kick ass uniform, minimal risk for high levels of excitement. I’d be great in a car chase too. I have such poor spatial awareness i’d be rocketing down alleys with people shouting ‘YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT THROUGH THERE!’ as I weave around narrow and sharp turns, totally oblivious my wing mirrors are snapping off.
My daydream was interrupted as I made eye contact with the people in the car behind me. They were tooting their horn as the traffic had began to crawl forward. Plus, they definitely saw me empty the shoe box. They’re probably thinking ‘who does she think she is? Chucking piss onto the road, wandering around like a sheriff in a high-viz’.
The journey continued with endless terrifying moments as we crawled along the road. It was like the film SPEED in reverse. The car can’t go over 15 miles an hour OR YOU’LL ALL DIE!!!
More Hollywood worthy moments presented themselves.
Brakes failing at roundabouts, resulting me in me slowly gliding across, cutting everyone up on my right and mouthing SORRY as I went past in slow motion. Cars careering out of control, wheels spinning and people digging their cars out of driveways. Forget your high speed car chase blockbusters, I’m thinking SNOWBOMB 2018 – Hollywood’s coldest thriller.
I digress. I made it home after five and a half hours, abandoned my car at the very top of my road and got out the car.
Trudging through the snow, high viz still on, eyes watering, chin wobbling, carrying a soggy wee soaked cardboard box I finally made it home.
Paul was greeted by a sodden, sobbing, highly reflective (in more ways than one) Sarah.
I had a shot of rum to calm my nerves and tried to relax.
Three days it took for my shoulders to stop aching after being so tense and clutching that steering wheel so tightly!!
Never mind dreaming of a White Christmas I’m still having bloody nightmares about it.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a snow-themed-car-chase-action-thriller screenplay to create.
Such a bugger the title ‘Frozen’ is already taken.