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Snow Blizzards and Noobs on the Road

 
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
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on 01/18/2013

This morning, in Britain, Wales and the west of England is covered in snow.  I don't know about the East, but I'm assuming that they are too.   Being Britain, this took us all totally by surprise.  Despite the fact that it rains incessantly here, and snows every winter, your average Briton remains permanently shocked that we haven't got sunshine and clear roads.

Being British, this also meant that I ignored all of the weather warnings last night.  Shefali told me, on the news, that there was a blizzard coming.  I looked in my cupboards and saw that we were low on milk and cigarettes.  Then promptly did nothing.

Until this morning, when I ran out of milk.

The local Co-Op is about five minutes drive away.   Our street was a bit on the white side, but the main road at the other end was already a brown-black sludge.  I figured it would be fine.  Did you know that I live on a hill?  Did you know that there's a local wisdom that you can't enter or leave my town without going up or down a hill?   Did you know that said Co-Op is in the next town, down one hill and up another?   I did.  I knew all of this.  But until a couple of hours ago, I don't think I actually knew it.

I first lost control of the car on top of Shant's Bridge.  The railway track is in the cut down below and a line of equally struggling traffic on two sides of me.  I managed not to hit nor plunge into any of them, controlling the car with the gears and steering alone to come to a stop in a snowbank.  That should have been my cue to turn around, but there's only one thing worse than being snowbound in your house.  That's being snowbound in your house without milk for a cuppa nor cigarettes. I'm British.  We drink tea.

Having regained control of my car again, I was a little perturbed by the white van driver behind me.  He considered being so far up my arse, that I couldn't read the registration plate, was safe and sensible in the circumstances.  On the bright side, it probably scared him as much as it did me, when I got stuck near the Co-Op.  Wheels spinning in the snow and going nowhere. 

Just then, a pedestrian stepped out right in front of me.  I was still trying to go forward, so I yelled, "Cachi!"  And stalled the car.  That appeared to sort the front wheels out, because as soon as I switched the engine back on, I shot forward.  Fortunately the pedestrian was gone and the white van driver was still stuck behind me.   At a distance now, because his van was also wheel spinning.

TIL that my boots have no grip on the bottom.  I nearly went arse over tit on the wet floor inside the Co-Op.  An elderly lady steadied me.  -.-

I decided not to go back via Shant's Bridge.  I plotted many alternative routes in my head, but they all involved climbing a hill eventually.  I went the very long way round, on the basis that said hill would be climbed on one of the busiest roads around it.  It had to be gritted.  That turned out to be a great and true assumption.  However, to get to it, you have to travel along Hill Road.  I'd never quite registered before why it's called Hill Road...

This time it wasn't me, but another car which lost control up the deceptively steep incline of Hill Road.  How he missed me, I don't know.  I did what anyone would have done in that situation.  I pulled into the carpark of the Aquarium and Garden Centre up there, and bought two goldfish.  >.>

There was hardly anyone in the carpark.  Being a garden centre and all, they were great at gritting the main walkways, but the carpark was largely an unblemished expanse of beautiful virgin snow.   Until, that is, a roar of engines made me spin around at the doorway.  Two cars were encircling each other, spinning 360 degrees with much screeching of brakes.  My jaw dropped.   It was two young men, basically using the conditions to have hours of fun with their cars and the snow. 

Though I admit that it was amusing to watch the store's security guards slipping and sliding to try and reach them.   The lads did a frankly impressive parking skid, ending up right next to each other in perfect alignment.  The security guards gave up and returned to the store.

Coming up the main road was fairly uneventful, but back into the lanes it got scary again.  This time I had yet another car right up my arse.  The bloke inside had a suit on and kept beeping his horn.  I was going 20mph, so I slowed down to about 5mph.  My car couldn't cope with the sudden drop - which was naturally done for the purposes of being utterly annoying to the git behind me - so I started to skid again. 

Trouble is that down there, you're surrounded by trees and the old cut.  That was frozen by the way.  I turned into the skid, as you do, seeing an old oak right in front of me.  But I stopped in time.  It taught me a valuable lesson about not being a bitch, even if other drivers aren't being nice boys.  After all, this wasn't just about me.  I was now responsible for the lives of two innocent goldfish.

I made it home in one piece, but there was a problem when it came to my driveway.   It's quite a steep one and my car was having none of it.  I was stuck in a wheel spin, in 6-8 inches of snow, however I tried to approach it.  I tried every which way, before admitting defeat.  If my car hadn't been half on the road and half on the drive, and if I hadn't got two fishes in danger of freezing, I would probably have kept on trying.  Instead I called my Dad and did the 'weak and feeble female' routine.   Yay for Dads!

He came and tried everything that I'd tried to get that car onto the drive.  Then he sent me for a spade.  He cleared two lines in the snow, before he could force my wheel-spinning Zafira onto it.   By now, it was over two hours since I'd 'nipped' to the shop.  Versus the usual five minutes.

But I got the milk and the cigarettes.

Blizzard?  Bring it on!


Ragtimelil
Posts: 825
Message
on 01/18/2013

Ha Ha - been there, done that. (except for the goldfish)

That's why I'm now living in Texas!


Lana or LIl aka Ragtimelil RagtimeLil's Store on Weebly
Ragtimelil
Posts: 825
Message
on 01/18/2013

In New England, the first three inches of snow was big news. Everyone panicked and/or stayed home. A month or two later, three inches of snow was barely noticed.


Lana or LIl aka Ragtimelil RagtimeLil's Store on Weebly
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/18/2013

Anxiety, dread, fear ... PANIC!

Danger, determination, reckless yet passionate behavior!

All for a carton (I hope!) of cigs.

I so get it.

Great yarn, Jo.  Smile


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
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Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 01/18/2013

Well, they do say smoking kills.

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 01/18/2013

Lana - New England sounds a lot like old England!  LOL

Achim - We might have this snow for about three days according to the weather report.  Once I'd made it to the Co-Op, I stocked up accordingly.   I got three large 50g packets of rolling baccy, four boxes of filter tips and cigarette papers, a bag of cookies, two cartons of milk and a bottle of wine.

We should survive with those essentials in the house now.   If not, I'll send out an SOS flare. :)


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

Paul: 01/18/2013 - 10:35 AM

Well, they do say smoking kills.

*dies*  LOL


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

Paul: 01/18/2013 - 10:35 AM

Well, they do say smoking kills.

Obviously not. To the contrary: it gets you through snow and ice and sleet and slush, it makes you bold and strong, it improves your driving skills, and it fosters closeness with your parent(s).


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
katiem2
Posts: 1044
Message
on 01/18/2013

Stay safe and warm Smile


Online
Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

chefkeem: 01/18/2013 - 10:41 AM

 

Paul: 01/18/2013 - 10:35 AM

Well, they do say smoking kills.

Obviously not. To the contrary: it gets you through snow and ice and sleet and slush, it makes you bold and strong, it improves your driving skills, and it fosters closeness with your parent(s).

We should create an ad campaign around it, we can call them "Wizzle sticks" or something...

dustytoes
Posts: 1140
Message
on 01/18/2013

I really enjoyed reading your British tale Jo... such a funny language... Wink  I can just hear the accent!

Glad you made it home safe and sound with new pets!  Congrats.


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BrendaReeves
Posts: 845
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on 01/18/2013

You missed your opportunity to kick the habit.


Brenda Reeves
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
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on 01/18/2013

Brenda - you never smoked, right?  Smile

The only valid opportunity to kick that habit is when we're hospitalized for several weeks.

Or in a coma.

Or dead. (The most effective opportunity with 100% success rate!)


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Ragtimelil
Posts: 825
Message
on 01/18/2013

Ha Ha. I'd be hysterical about being out of milk myself. I'm a lactose addict.

Smiley


Lana or LIl aka Ragtimelil RagtimeLil's Store on Weebly
JohnTannahill
Posts: 7
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

JoHarrington: 01/18/2013 - 09:24 AM

This morning, in Britain, Wales and the west of England is covered in snow.  I don't know about the East, but I'm assuming that they are too.   

We already had snow earlier in the week and it's snowed more on top every day since. We're almost used to it now. We just have a layer of ice on everything. Glad to hear you got your cigs. Stay safe.

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Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

Ragtimelil: 01/18/2013 - 02:07 PM

Ha Ha. I'd be hysterical about being out of milk myself. I'm a lactose addict.

Smiley

That's one hell of a niche emoticon!

frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 01/18/2013

Jo...

I love your writing in forum posts as much as your articles! Honestly, cut and paste...add some photos and make a Wizzley out of this.

My favorite was at the end, when you mention "milk and cigarettes" in the same sentence...I automatically jumped to envisioning you dipping them into the milk like a cookie and chowing down.

Enjoy your wine, cookies, cigs and milk...sounds great in my world right now, with no snow on the ground!


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
Ragtimelil
Posts: 825
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

Paul: 01/18/2013 - 05:55 PM

 

Ragtimelil: 01/18/2013 - 02:07 PM

Ha Ha. I'd be hysterical about being out of milk myself. I'm a lactose addict.

Smiley

That's one hell of a niche emoticon!

Yes, yes it is.


Lana or LIl aka Ragtimelil RagtimeLil's Store on Weebly
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 01/18/2013

 

chefkeem: 01/18/2013 - 01:54 PM

Brenda - you never smoked, right?  Smile

The only valid opportunity to kick that habit is when we're hospitalized for several weeks.

Or in a coma.

Or dead. (The most effective opportunity with 100% success rate!)

or our jaws wired shut...works wonders I hear, but never tried it!


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/18/2013

Robin - you never smoked, right?

(Hint: It sticks out from your face and has 2 holes.)


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
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