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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Black Ice Blues



Chewy (Back of My Headboard) cracks me up.  All this past week I've been whining to her about my iced in drive, and the misadventures it caused.

She summed it up by sending this comical home vid on to me this morning - which naturally, I can't resist sharing!

My drive is looooooong, steep, winding, and very narrow, the only turning point being on the apron at the bottom.  My house sits immediately behind this apron, so should the car slip attempting to climb up the drive, there's a fair to middling chance it might take out a chunk of wall with it.  If I opt to park at the top, I need to reverse out blindly into a busy two-way traffic thoroughfare - and even I'm not that rash as to attempt to try that, well not without first having someone to halt all the traffic for me.  Especially not in the rush hour.

Naturally, at the first flake of snow, hubby abandoned us left for his bi-weekly jaunt to London.  He did thoughtfully leave me with a bucket of grit and a shovel (bless).

Don't get me wrong, I'd blissfully hole up for the week at home, my cupboards are stocked and my freezer is full, I'd be perfectly content to cozy up to a lit fire and the Jeremy Kyle Show.  I could even make my way through a few of those trashy, true-life, American crime novels that I so love to scare the crap out of myself with.  That, my friends, would land me in nothing short of Shrinky heaven.

Unfortunately, only Shrinky Hell was an open option.  With three of my four darlings to dispense and collect each day, Christmas play rehearsals to ferry two of them to and back from each evening, and the summons of a must-attend parents evening to reach - it turned out quite a week.

Off street parking lies half a mile from the house, and the journey there is solid ice covered snow along the side-walks.  Hmph, my Sweet Sam falls over his feet enough as it is in broad sunshine, can you imagine how long this journey took us to reach the car and back, often in the pitch black?

I did try the grit and shovel route, only to skid the car backwards and find it firmly stuck in the flower bed.  Sam wouldn't hear of staying home, that's not in his routine - so here I am with my wheels spinning on the spot, and  a distraught (facial tic's hopping) son screaming in my (about to burst) left ear, to "just fix it" in time before school.  Ah, joy, eh?

Our heating and hot water runs on oil, and yes, you've guessed it, we were almost out of fuel. The 27 ton vehicle arriving to replenish our supplies doesn't have a long enough hose to reach our tank from the road.  The driver was already pretty shaken up when he arrived, having just freshly demolished half of the house three doors up from us.  After copious begging, a show of tears, and two cups of tea, I finally calmed him down enough to help me shovel ten yards free from the top of the drive.  To get out again, yup, I had stand in the middle of the road waving like a crazed lunatic, stopping all the two-way traffic, before reversing him on his way.

(Must remember to send him a Christmas card.)

Oh, which reminds me, my Tesco grocery home delivery guy also deserves a medal, landing up on his arse as he did, wheeling my shopping down the drive.  He did say, "I'm not meant to be doing this down slippery drives.. but I can hardly expect you to do this.", as I helped him up amidst the broken eggs (which I, incidentally,  received a full refund credit for).      

Guess the highlight of the week was receiving a "courtesy" call from the police.  No, no I wasn't in any trouble as such, well not really.. I hadn't actually broken any laws.

When I parked up on the street one morning , apparently my front wheels strayed over a white line (one I couldn't see due to all the snow and ice covering it).  White lines are not legally enforceable, they are a polite reminder not to obstruct an entrance, usually (wait for it) some one's driveway.  As it happened, I did notice the drive there, but aside from there being no vehicle in it, I had left ample clearance for a Juggernaut to drive through.  Besides, I returned back again in less than an hour, to do another of my blasted runs.

Seems some jumped up, militant housewife obviously took exception to this, and had slapped a nasty note to my windscreen.  Not in the mood for any ear-bashing, I simply chose to ignore it and drove off.

Steam started to come from my ears when the police owned she'd claimed, due to me, she'd only gone and damaged her car trying to manoeuvre out.  What a big fat juicy liar!   That drive was EMPTY when I'd left.  Besides, I thought I was a crap driver, it takes incompetency to a new level to miss a turn even a double decker bus would fit through.  I figure she had been on the school run when I'd arrived, and coming back, took umbrage I dared to park up on her street.  Who knows, maybe she had damaged her car earlier in the week, and was looking for a plausible story to help out with her insurance claim?  Either way, there is nothing I hate worse than an outright fibber!

Funny how she never made any mention of this alleged damage to her (invisible) car on the stinking note she'd left to me.  Even more funny is how my car appears to have sustained not so much as one single scratch on this spectacular crash with hers.

Anyways, I wasn't having any of that.  Grrrrrrrrr.

Deeply annoyed, I dug her note out of the trash and called her back on the number left.  I won't recount the conversation, but at least I finished the call a darn sight more happy than before I'd dialed.  (stupidcowwon'tmesswithmeanymoremuttermutter) 

With huge relief, I finally parked up in my own garage come Friday night, knowing the London Gatwick airport (after a two day closure) was thankfully open again, and hubby would soon be home to do the Saturday morning ferrying around, with his own car.

Du-uh.

I should have known all flights to the island would end up cancelled.  With every hotel virtually double booked, and the roads nigh impassable, the poor man found himself spending the night asleep on the floor of the Airport Chapel, surrounded by a dozen other like-wise stranded passengers.  (Least, that's his story.)

Out came my bucket of sand and the shovel again.

(Sigh.)

So, thank you dearest Chewy, I laughed long and hard when I opened this vid today - it kind of put it all back in to perspective again (hugs)!  Oh, and I think I should give a credit here to LUKE, the artist who painted this extremely apt depiction of my snow-bound drive.  (The spooky thing is, he created this with no prior knowledge of the layout of my place!)

PS.  Hubby is now home.  I've grounded him from London until the Spring.

Update:  I woke this morning to a burst pipe, water flooding through the (vacant for now) eldest's bedroom ceiling; the bed, carpet and pretty much everything else is totally soaked through - arghhhhhhhhhhh!

61 comments:

chewy said...

You sooooo entertain me. (giggle) I can't believe I found such a fitting painting in Luke's gallery sale.

mrsnesbitt said...

I was wondering how you were coping with the bad weather! I haven't driven now for 12 days - yes as you are aware the North East was hardest hit by this weather so hubby has been doing all the driving in the 4x4 I have chosen hermit mode and have been quite happy with this decision. Fortunately Jon's workshop is only a couple of miles away so we can't complain I have a cold and so am "feeding it" so will have to get back on the diet after today.
Good to know all is well - love as ever.
Dxx

Putz said...

that same weekend your husband was stranded from london, i was sitting upright in a chair at the charlotte airport trying not to fall asleep{ if you felll asleep you were a vagrant}, but staying awake you would not be arrested for vagrancy} all afternoon and all night and then 23 hours later went to atlanta {wrong way to utah {utar} last time i will intentaonally fly ,.,..too much snow in the winter

TechnoBabe said...

Never a dull moment at your house that's for sure. You have a good sense of humor and get by when some people would be bonkers by now.

chewy said...

btw... to be clear... I only met Luke yesterday, he painted this last June! I can't believe how appropriately it fit your week.

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! You folks really are going through some hard times over there (across the pond). It NEVER snows or ices where I live. I can only imagine the chaos that would ensue if one of those things would happen to us. As usual, you have the ability to make anything hilarious and this post was no exception. I hope you get some relief soon! Until then, hang in there...

Parabolic Muse said...

HOLY COW! That's horrendous! My hair stood on end. And it's about 10 inches long, so I look ridiculous.

That Tesco driver is a gem! How nice of him.

I'm so glad your sweetie is back home. Loved Chewy's vid. I just got her book and it's so sweet.

#1Nana said...

We too have had snow and ice. I'm tired of it already and winter hasn't even officially started! I'm blessed to be retired and don't have to go anywhere. Days pass and suddenly I realize that I haven't been outside for ages. Our roads are clear now and only icy first thing in the morning...but I'm still heading for the warm of southern California for Christmas.

Kittie Howard said...

Your horrible weather is in the news here in the States. What a mess! Here's hoping it ends soon and life returns to normal. By the way, loved your post...think that woman with the car was trying to pull a fast one, give your Tesco guy a hug...what a nice guy...good luck!

Bathwater said...

It doesn't sound like you get very prepared for snow over there.

Cheeseboy said...

I think that if I were to leave my wife for a week or two during winter, this exact chain of events may happen to her too.

Funny and frustrating post.

~Babs said...

Oh that Chewy is a caution!
Imagine, finding that perfect painting,,,and then making the video. What a pal!
(clapping)

What a wild week you've ridden Shrink,,,hope it thaws a bit very soon.

No snow here yet,,,but colder'n a well diggers belt buckle tonight. I could sure live without it!
Good luck to you,,,sounds as though you could use it!

mythopolis said...

Have you thought about a ski lift? I remember looking out at an icy street from my office window. The street is a long downhill to the business district. I saw a grey car fishtailing in slow motion sliding down the street backwards. I thought it was pretty amusing 'til I realized OMG! that's my mother! Poor thing!

Kristina Hughes said...

Yay! Lovely to read another Shrinky saga - would have liked to hear that conversation Petty Parking Woman! Some people, eh? Can totally imagine how your hike to the car with slippy Sam went - Jude is so bad at walking in slippery conditions that I had to get him to his school taxi in a toboggan!
Good luck with this next cold snap - brrrrrr. Keep that husband safely home and stock up on the mulled wine - if not for drinking, it makes a great de-icer! xxxx

Akelamalu said...

Oh crikey I would have just fallen to pieces faced with all that! I hate driving in this weather it just terrifies me. :(

Shrinky said...

Chewy, that was nothing short of SPOOKY! I laughed my invisible socks off at you talking me through it on the vid - you rock, girl!((x))

Shrinky said...

Hi Denise, ugh, hope your cold is on the mend - and, are you kidding me? This is DECEMBER, give yourself a break and forget any thoughts of the diet until at least January!

Shrinky said...

OMG Putz, that is too awful for words - I can't believe the airports over there are so unaccomodating as to eject their stranded passengers if they fall asleep whilst waiting for their delayed flights - yuck!

Shrinky said...

Technobabe, will you promise to keep it quiet if I confess I WENT BONKERS YEARS AGO?? (Wink)

Shrinky said...

Hiya Pat! I've lit the fire and refuse to go anywhere this week. Next week hubby is off the island again - groan - so I'm building up my strength before the next onslaught..

Shrinky said...

Aw Chris, love the thought you have Chewy's book (grin). Ya' know, last week might actually prove to have been worthwhile, if I could see a picture of you with your ten inch hair standing on end - teehee!

Shrinky said...

#1 Nana, ooooh, California?? Any room in your case for a little one (jumping up and down with my hand in the air)?? Things have quietened down some now hubby is back - I'm on a driving strike!

Shrinky said...

Hello Kitty, yeah that woman was unbelievable - sheesh! I always give my Tesco delivery guy a hug (shhhh, don't tell hubby)!

Shrinky said...

Bathwater, it's the same every year, the first flake of snow and we all run around like headless chickens (blush)..

Shrinky said...

Cheeseboy, it's kinda' comforting to hear I am not alone - I'm with your wifey on this one!

Shrinky said...

Hiya Babs, yup, she's nothing short of a national treasure, that Chewy, isn't she? (grin)

Shrinky said...

OMG Dan, too funny - your poor, poor mum! Haaaaaaaaaa

Shrinky said...

Kristina - pah, as if I'm about to waste a good mulled wine as de-icer - hehe! Oh, we made quite a sight inching through the ice, Sam and me - he is over 6ft, and held on to me for dear life - I seriously worried one or both of us would end up breaking a limb!

Shrinky said...

Akelamalu, I am a reluctant driver at the best of times, I hate being out in the dark over winter - roll on Summer, eh?

Suldog said...

Ah, Shrinky, you put my own gloominess concerning upcoming shoveling and so forth of my 60-foot STRAIGHT AND LEVEL driveway to shame. Thanks for putting life in perspective for my whining self!

secret agent woman said...

Yikes! I'm glad it rarely gets that treacherous here.

Shrinky said...

Ha, Suldog, I woke this morning to a burst pipe.. ho, ho, ho, eh? Sigh.

Shrinky said...

Secret Agent, this is the first year I've known it so bad - and winter has barely begun - yikes!

Skunkfeathers said...

LOL...winter time blues.

Black ice is a dawn/dusk phenom here, which ALWAYS corresponds to commute-to-work times. In a metro area of 2 million plus, the entertainment convinces most folks that Olympic curling is boring.

My commute involves winding mountain roads and 30 miles, one way, of interesting experiences in every winter storm.

*Hug*

Land of shimp said...

Ooooooh, you're the subject of an art study, Shrinky!! See, isn't all the aggravation worth it?

You wonderful, funny, goofy woman you. I'm so glad you let the Note Leaving Cow (did the note say "Moo"?) have it.

May you soon experience a driveway thawing up tick in the temperature.

As for where I've been...Oh Shrinky, do you remember the time I had to get my son's driver's license sorted out? Well, he did it again. So I refused to sort it out this time, and told him he would have to solve his own problem.

This has made my home just bundles of fun to live in, at present :-) However, this too shall pass, and if worst comes to worst, I have vodka. And straws.

Thanks for asking, sorry I've been so silent. Nothing dire, just general "Tell me again why I thought having a child was a good idea?" stuff. How you keep your sanity with your brood, I've no clue :-)

Stay well and may your homestead melt soon.

The Blue Zoo said...

A leak? Oh no! I would have freaked out!!

Damn girl, maybe you should move somewhere warmer!

Shrinky said...

Oh Skunk, that sounds hellish,I would shrivel up and die rather than to take that journey!

Shrinky said...

Oh Alane, another update; the poor girl delivering my Tesco groceries rashly tried to drive the van down, it skidded all the way, and only stopped one inch from crashing into the house! I opened the door to find her shaking like a leaf - when I asked her if she was okay, she burst into tears, poor kid! It took over an hour for hubby to grit and shovel enough to inch the van back up to the road.. with the van slipping backwards all the while.

Shrinky said...

Blue Zoo, I tell myself that all the time on the weeks hubby goes off to London!

Debbie said...

Bless your heart! I don't drive in bad weather. At all.

CJ said...

Loved the video and the post! It just sounds so awful trying to get around with all that ice. I don't blame you one bit for venting. I would be crying by now.

Sabi Sunshine said...

you are not enjoying this are you..?? wow you did have a bad weather..!

Have a lovely weekend!

love
Sabi Sunshine

Kim said...

We've been snowed in for about a week but we definitely haven't been facing what you are up against. I get downright cranky if I'm asked to do any of the outside work like shovelling or raking so I can't imagine having to deal with all of that myself!

Shrinky said...

Hi Debbie, neither would I, given half the chance!

Shrinky said...

Hey CJ, great to see you again! Hmph, I'm gearing up for another onslaught - just as hubby is due to fly off again, the weather is about to take another turn for the worse (sigh).

Shrinky said...

Hi Sabi, no hon, I just want to sit it out, it's no fun at all trying to get out and about in these conditions.

Shrinky said...

I'm with you Kim, the outdoor chores - especially in the dark, freezing mornings, are a lousey way to start the day!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Delightful blog, well done. Different and deserves your followers.

Grandma's scrapbook said...

Good evening! How are you? I really love, like, designed posts, excite me - great!

Out on the prairie said...

very tough to conquer, we use snow melt by the very large bags around here. I woke to everything closed today having rain freeze, then 5 inches of snow.Winds are still bad with a warning not to go out unless you need to. I have been making goodies to pass around to my neighbors for the holidays.I need to switch to something different after 8 dozen cookies. Hey, think i 'll take a drive. LOL

Fragrant Liar said...

Yikes! Sounds like you're sort of screwed in the winter! Hope you're faring better by now, no leaky pipes and such. Stay warm, girl!

Shrinky said...

Hey Ken, thanks for stopping by, and for the kind words - hope to see you around more (smile).

Shrinky said...

Hello OutonthePrairie, nice to see you again. Nope, forget that drive and just stay indoors - we had severe weather warnings out too, on the week I wrote this, it's thawed some now (thank heavens), but now hubby has flown off the isle - yeah - it's due to snow again. Hmph.

Shrinky said...

Hi Fragrant, dontcha' just LOVE winter? Sigh..

Middle Child said...

I have only ever once seen snow and it melted by 10am - I cannot imagine the cold that actually turns things to ice - But then again you probably could not imagine how scorchingly hot some Christmas days are - so its a wee bit chilly over there...hope it eases...a great yarn as well thanks for that

Shrinky said...

Hi Middle Child, I did once celebrate Christmas in Melbourne - I was amazed to find it quite chilly (I never thought to pack any warm clothes for my visit - duh)! I'd trade you some of our snow for a little drop of your sunshine, anytime!

Margaret Benbow said...

Congrats for your victory over the lying cow who tried to blame you for her mucky-bad driving...she little knew who she was up against!

Shrinky said...

Margaret, I SHOULD have let it go, I thought I'd buried that awful bite reflex when I'd left the City life behind.. but darn, it felt good cutting her down to size (wince).

Life, Laughter and Paris said...

OMG. And here I am blah blah blahing about how pretty the snow is. Forget it! I hope you have a bit of a heat wave soon. (Glad you keep your sense of humor tho)!

Shrinky said...

Oh Susan, my humour is wearing pretty thin today - our airport is closed (again), and my son can't get home - as I haven't seen him since September, I am NOT a happy bunny today - oh, and hubby is stranded in London again, too.. (knew I shouldn't have allowed him to escape)

Preity Angel... said...

Happy Holidays Shrinky.. love to you and your family