Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Obligatory Snow Post
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the majority of the country had snow yesterday. We woke up to a light covering and it started to fall again at lunch time, so when I took the dogs out we all had lots of fun playing in the snowy fields.
I came home and got back to work until Matt called at around 3pm to tell me that he'd sold the Freelander (NOOOOOOOO!!!!) and needed to take it to Lincoln. He was going to need a lift back but was worried about my car in the snow. I started to tell him not to be so silly but when I looked out of the window it was bucketing down with snow and there were a good few inches on the ground. I couldn't believe how much worse it had got in the last few hours. Nonetheless, the offer for the truck was so good that I told him to meet me at home and I'd follow him to Lincoln
I'd seriously underestimated the conditions and especially, how my car would cope. I've only had it since October so I've never driven it in snow and ice but being a big, heavy automatic with big wide wheels I kind of knew that I was going to have to be veeeery careful
Getting out of the village was more than a little hairy but once we got to the main road it was slightly easier, if slow going. We made it to Lincoln, said goodbye to the truck and Matt hopped into my car for the journey home. I love being in the car with him, we always seem to end up having really in depth conversations! Once we neared home and left the main road we saw a car on it's roof in the ditch and Matt started dispensing gratuitous advice about being careful.
'I know what I'm doing', I told him. 'You forget that I drive 40,000 miles a year. I've probably driven more miles in the last few years than you have in your whole life!'
Famous last words ....
As we got close to the village I started looking for the turn off but I couldn't see it. 'I can't see the turn off, where is it?' I muttered, sitting forward and peering through the windscreen. Suddenly it was there to my left and I braked and skiiiiiidded ....
'Ooops! I'll take the next turn off', I said. But by that point we were cresting a hill and as we came over the brow I saw orange and red flashing lights. A car had crashed, half in the ditch and half on the verge and an enormous recovery truck was parked slap bang in the middle of the road
'Oh my God', I gasped as we started to descend the hill and skid, 'what do I do, what do I do???'
'Pump the brake! Pump the brake!'
'I'm pumping! Nothing's happening!' What do I DO???'
'Keep pumping! Slow down, slow down!'
'I'M TRYING TO SLOW DOWN!!!'
We skidded all the way down the hill and I made a snap decision to run the car into the verge. The deep snow should stop us before we got to the ditch. We may not be able to get the car out but the alternatives were crashing into the other car or crashing into the truck - neither of which were appealing
We crashed into the drift and came to a halt a few feet from the crashed car and I wailed. Matt took over and managed to get us out of the snow and around the recovery truck, thank goodness there were no cars coming up behind us or from the opposite direction or there would have been no way of avoiding a crash. I was hanging on to the passenger door handle and armrest for dear life and felt in a flat spin. I've only ever had two close calls like that, both in ice and snow and both with Matt in the car (typical) The feeling is terrifying - the total lack of control and seeing a disaster unfold in front of your eyes in slow motion is just so frightening
I cancelled all meetings for today and I'm staying at home in my nice warm house, with a candle burning and copious amounts of hot chocolate with squirty cream. Most of the time I'm really blase about driving but when you come so close to having an accident like that it reminds you that you can't take for granted that you will be OK. We could have ended up on our roof in the ditch like the other car we saw. Only minutes before we'd been talking about how we spend all our time working and planning for the future rather than living for the day to day and appreciating what we have now - how appropriate!
Anyway, we're both OK, that's what matters. And I'll be thinking VERY carefully before driving that car in snow and ice again