I was sent to a small town about 20 miles away last week during the height of the storm, to cover a district court. This wasn't a good idea for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I have a terrible sense of direction and tend to get lost whenever I go somewhere I've never been before.
The rain was torrential, the wind was howling and for once I'm not exaggerating. Even before I got to the s***e country roads, I lost my bearings and had to go round the roundabout three times to get the right exit off the ring road!
I had to switch off Today FM in order to concentrate and tuned into Lyric instead, which, I must admit, by the time I was driving home again, had become quite fond of. Who'd have thought I'd like Elgar and Debussy?!
There were a couple of near misses, not least of which occurred when I drove through a flood thinking it was a puddle and braked. Am I the only driver in the world who didn't know you're not supposed to break when going through a flood?
The car took on a life of its own and I ended up in the middle of the road, much too close to an oncoming lorry. I frightened the life and soul out of myself and wailed the whole way to the back arse of nowhere.
'I am not paid enough for this kind of hardship!' I sobbed as the car started to chug. It chug chug chugged the whole 15 miles to my destination like a cross between Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Herbie. I pulled into the carpark and did what any middle aged grown up married woman with two children would do - I called my dad!
'I drove into a flood and the car is chugging and I nearly got killed!' I cried down the phone. He replied with a string of expletives which is his usual response in a crisis. He then relays the whole episode to my brother and uncle: 'She's after driving through a flood and the car is chugging.'
A great debate ensued about water in the engine and getting to a garage asap. I told them this wasn't possible as I was due to go meet the local criminal underworld. More expletives as he relayed this information to the others.
He then asked had I rang my husband. That's a reasonable enough question to be fair. 'I did ring him but he told me he was too busy to talk and hung up.' I informed him, going for the sympathy vote. 'That Bo***x!' he declared. I readily agreed.
Pregnant pause. Then, 'If the car doesn't start when you come out, ring me and I'll come and get you.' Ahhhhh...sure Gold help us. He was 60 miles away and he still would have come to rescue me. That's what dads are for. As for that other b***x!