Driving in a Blizzard

It’s been a while since a “Dickie” post… that’s mainly because he’s been put away for winter, and thus hasn’t done much exciting to blog about. “Dickie sat in the garage”, “Dickie was moved from the garage”, “Dickie put up a valiant defence against the mice in the shed”. Thrilling stuff.

Another reason I haven’t put much about Dickie up is that I’ve gone through a pretty tough time of late. I wrote a blogpost on notmuchofayoungfarmer about my decision to leave the PGCE. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was definitely for the best. Having my weekends free to do with as I please, and not being tied down by school terms, means I have a bit more freedom to do what I want to do – including blogging, and maybe some track days!

But there aren’t going to be any track days at the moment! We’ve had an awful lot of snow just dumped on us. I love the snow: I love how it acts as a blank page to the world, treating fields and roads the same, whiting everything out. I love the quietness it brings to an otherwise chaotic, noisy world. However, I certainly don’t like driving in it!

The past few years we’ve not had much snow, and so I’ve missed out driving in it quite a lot. I’ve driven through a few snow showers and a dusting on the road, but not when four or five inches have been freshly laid. The other day, in my little yellow Seat, I had a little spin on a nasty corner on the back roads. That was scary, but it was a fairly wide corner, and there was nothing coming, so I just span 180 to face the wrong way and come to a stop. I laughed rather than cried, though my heart was pounding.

So when I was driving through a blizzard the day before yesterday, I was taking it very cautiously. I know at least to keep the car in as high a gear as possible to stop my wheels spinning so much… nobody else seems to know this though! The car in front of me whacked their hazards on and stopped halfway up the hill from Fimber Roundabout; because obviously that’s the most sensible thing to do on a snow-blanketed hill with a blizzard raging round.

Driving home in the snow was the scariest thing I’ve done in a long time: it wasn’t that I was afraid of my own driving, but rather I was afraid of everyone else on the road. People were weaving around like madmen, staying in first gear and spinning their wheels like mad. And worst of all, the blowers in my car stopped working, so my windscreen fogged up like something more exciting than hyperventilating and excessive swearing was happening inside.

But I made it home! And it’s been snowy since: Windy Farm is most definitely white over: very much Snowy Farm.

Maybe I should get Dickie out! After all, the snow-related memes seem to speak for themselves…

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“I must be driving James Bond’s car…”

No, not an Aston Martin!

Rather, in the past couple of days while I’ve been driving around to and from uni and work in my little bright yellow Seat Ibiza, I seem to have had so many near misses (that weren’t my fault!!) that have led me to believe that my car has an invisibility switch that I’ve somehow pressed and I can’t find it to turn it off!

The Seat

 

Invisibility mode engaged!

Near Miss #1

My grandfather – my own grandad! – nearly wiped me out pulling into our track – our track!! – cutting the corner, when he randomly decided to go to work at ten to eight, when Mum and Dad were still in bed and I was running a bit late for work.

Apparently, Mum later told me, he didn’t even know it was me! Who else in a bright yellow car is driving down our track – a private road!! – at ten to eight on a weekday morning?!

Near Miss #2

This one isn’t much of an invisibility crisis as just a rant about indicators, really. Driving down Cranbrook Avenue, I was waiting at the mini roundabout on Inglemire Lane, giving way to the right like a good little driver, when a car was coming from straight on. I say a car, I mean a Mitsubishi Warrior, who is clearly exempt from indicating because all and sundry understand that it has every right of way. I spied my opportunity and nipped across – except the Warrior actually meant he was taking his right at the roundabout, and cutting across me. Cue lots of screaming and wild accelerating!

Near Miss #3

The road I drive on, the B1248 from Hull to Malton, is a fast road, and a dangerous road. It can be quite a busy little road, and a lot of people seem to think they can drive as fast as they want and take the corners as wide as they want because they’ve driven that way every day for the past million years. But if they have driven that way for the past million years, then they should recall the amount of accidents caused and lives claimed. And my very own little life was nearly claimed when I was trundling home at a sensible speed, and round a corner up ahead I saw a blur of a red BMW come tear-arsing round the corner. My first thought was “bloody hell how fast is that car going?” and then my second thought was “omigod he’s at my side of the road and not slowing down!” How he missed me I’ll never know; he managed to slide across to his side and get past, and a little retrospectively I gave him an angry pip all the way down to Fimber roundabout.

Near Miss #4

In Scagglethorpe, the lovely little village with the fantastic Anglo-Saxon name, there is a corner in the middle of the village with steep grassy banks, and if you come from Setty way, due to the cars parked at the side of the road, you can’t see if something is coming up the little hill. I peered as far ahead as I could (please recall I am probably not 5 foot 2 on a good day) and pulled out to go round the cars. Just as I was passing the second of about twelve cars (slight over-exaggeration), a car came round the corner. Because I was committed, as my driving instructor always told me, I carried on going (I don’t do reversing!), hoping the car might stop and wait for me. Or at least slow down. But no, he just kept coming, and coming, looking straight through me… and I had to extremely quickly nip into the tiniest gap after the last of the seventeen parked cars to avoid being sat on his bonnet – or maybe worse still, his lap. And when I gave him the appropriate “omigod what were you doing have you no manners chivalry is dead” he completely blanked me. He was wearing severe Deirdre Barlow jam-jar glasses and did look like he had been plucked straight from the 70s, so maybe he couldn’t see me at all… maybe I had momentarily drifted into a time warp… wormhole… Maybe the Seat has time travel controls too!

So after all that ranting… drive safe guys! Is chivalry dead on the roads? Potentially…