Saturday, 6 December 2008
I've been feeling the cold this week. Not because it's been particularly Arctic here, though according to the news they've had snow in Chris's end of the country (see picture above - Chris is third from the left). And not because I'm getting old. Simply because I've been driving to work.
Normally I'm able to walk, but because I was away, I had to drive to and from the hotel. This wasn't massively time consuming - about 5 or 10 minutes, but because the hire car was outside in the carpark, it was necessary to de-ice it.
Even when I do have to drive my car, it's usually kept in its garage these days, so it's about 4 or 5 years since I've had to worry about ice. Luckily there was a service station next to the hotel, so I was able to get some de-icer spray and a scraper on the first cold morning.
I remember the days before they invented the de-icer stuff. Or maybe no-one had told me about it. When I was doing teacher training, the second term (between Christmas and Easter) was spent in a school in Windermere, which was quite a long way from where I was living in Lancaster. Another two of my house mates were doing their teaching practice in Kendall (where they make the Mint Cake), and since I was the only one with a car, I used to take them to their school.
So the three of us would go to my car, scrape the ice off the windscreen, prise the doors open, and set off. By the time we hit the first roundabout (about 30 seconds), everything would be freezing up again, and I would be swerving round it reassuring my housemates by yelling "I can't see a f**king thing!". Perhaps I should have been an airline pilot. "Hello this is your captain speaking. Say your prayers, folks!"
My car was rather old and the heater had long since stopped working. Visibility was usally restored by the time we hit the M6. I think that my passengers would have preferred not to be able to see at this point in the journey, as my tendency to overtake police cars at 80 MPH unnerved them somewhat. I never got done for speeding, which I think proves that they were wrong to be so worried.
In any case, it never got this bad:
Have a great weekend, and if it is icy in your part of the world, please drive carefully.