Thursday, 18 February 2010

Today was a good day....

It was raining in Manchester when we drove past the places we'd danced, drunk and loitered outside in the first couple of years together. It was still raining in Warrington when we climbed the fire escape at the Hall of Residence trying to get closer to the first place we lived together - despite the small technical details like the non-cohabitation rule.

It wasn't raining when we reached Birmingham. It was snowing. I don't drive across town when it snows. The whiteout didn't know that.

The outside lane was safest because the guys who make their living driving the trailers, containers and car transporters didn't want to be late. Hurtling through the snow they played chase and overtake, using the slow lanes . I guess they thought everyone else could see them easily and we should all keep out of their way, I know I did. I pulled out wide and let the big guys play.

The flakes of snow were huge, fluffy but basically softies: couldn't land, couldn't stick, couldn't do much apart from cut down the visibility and melt into noise-hating, shushing slush at road level.

But, Car transporter guy saw a gap and threw his rig into the centre lane. The car there braked, I would have, too. But speed and slushy snow are a bad mix. The angle, as he veered from the well worn path, forced the melted snow to syphon through the tyres grooves and spew impenetrible slush onto my windscreen.

It fountained up and across at speed. Shock, lack of visibility, and the noise all combined to create the moment - the one where you wonder if there was anything you regretted not having had the chance to do, if the will was in order, if the car behind had left enough distance to not be involved in the mayhem.

Strangely calm, I held my breath and pictured the road as I had seen it last and kept the line.

There followed ten - hours - minutes - seconds of trying to do the same-old-same-old, not being reactionary and keeping the car under total control.

I drove home and decided today was a good day because it wasn't the day I died.


  1. Yikes! Glad you're home safe and sound. Winter driving can be so scary when you're not used to it. Stay safe.

    PS - I've got an award for you over at my blog :)

  2. Wow... I've been there. It is so freaking scary. I've also spun into a truck and totaled my car. Still, I'm alive, so today is a good day for me too. Still, I'll bet it took your hands a long time to stop shaking.

  3. I like the photo above, no I love it.
    You have a lovely weekend.

    Work from home India

  4. lovely pics! Dont talk of dying. You can't deprive us of your great writing!

  5. Glad to know you are still with us. We can't go losing you now we've only just found you and your great blog. Keep safe until next time, Elaine

  6. Glad you are safe. We never know when it's over for us.... makes one ponder deeper. :O)

  7. Ooh, sounds nasty-scary.

    I gotta say though; it sure sparked an eloquent post!


  8. Oh my word, how terrifying! These giant lorries scare the daylights out of me in perfect weather conditions. So glad you made it home safely. It was indeed a good day.

    Out of curiosity, was this a road trip of sorts? It sounds like it must have been a fairly long drive.

  9. It was a round trip - once around the block of all the places we spent too much time when we were first together: Liverpool, Blackpool, Manchester and Warrington. We know how to have a good time!

  10. Glad you made it!! And so glad we don't get much snow over here. an inch and a half is enough to shut the city down.

  11. Driving in poor weather is so scary. I'm glad you're safe, Elaine. Thanks for the great blog. I posted an award for you this morning.

  12. Yikes.
    I am very glad you didn't die, strange as that sounds. I'm happy you're safe.

  13. i'm glad you're still alive, too! still alive to be still writing. :)

    thanks for stopping by my blog today!
    The Character Therapist

  14. No one is more glad about my continued LIVE status! I have appreciated every kind thought that came my way after this close encounter with a seasonal grim reaper.