>Oh. My. Gawd.

>I went for it. I cleared the snow off my car this morning, after first calling ahead to make sure there were people at the garage, and I made my way there.

I have a dinky little Citroen Saxo 1.1 and I thought the hire car might be the same, so when I saw another dinky little Citroen Saxo there, I was over the moon … but that wasn’t my hire car. My replacement car is actually a Vauxhall Corsa 1.2, not a lot bigger, but HUGE on the inside in comparison.

Now, for the past 6 years I’ve been telling every car mechanic I know that my brakes aren’t very good, and for 6 years they’ve been telling me to stop worrying, they’re fine. I get into this Corsa, touch the brakes, and am nearly catapulted through the window. We have snow and slush on the ground. I have brakes that actually work. So you can guess I’ve had a couple of wheel spins too. It took me hours to find Reverse, and when I pulled up outside my house – in one piece, no less – ALL THE CAR LIGHTS CAME ON. I couldn’t switch any of them off and when I opened the driver’s door, an alarm squealed at me.

Why do they not provide guidebooks with hire cars? I’d be fine with a guidebook. I can see me being on public transport until I get my own car back late tomorrow.

The roads aren’t as bad as I thought. Ours isn’t very icy at all, the snow and slush is still soft, warm and powdery, and lots of grit has been strewn across the sharp bend on the steep hill. However …

I probably drove about 3 – 4 miles to the next but one village and had to ignore the first roundabout as I knew the road was closed that way. This first roundabout is minutes from where I was going, but I used the second one due to the diversion. By the time I made my return trip, a great big massive articulated lorry was on its side on this first roundabout. There were 3 police cars already there, plus a fire engine and an ambulance on the way. And I couldn’t slow down for the ambulance in case I shot through the windscreen when I touched the brakes. Then, by the time I got back to my village, 2 smashed up cars that were parked safely on the second roundabout had already been towed away. Looks like the emergency services are working well.

We have sunshine forecast for the next few days so maybe that will melt the worst of the snow before it gets too treacherous here. A lorry on its side and 2 cars on the roundabout is quite good going, I think. I hope all the drivers are okay.

I had a nice and good productive day yesterday. I enjoyed my first film, The Eagle Has Landed, but I’d forgotten that even the Germans spoke with an English plum in their mouths. I was a bit disappointed with the third Mummy, but I always am with sequels – apart from Indiana Jones … and Lord of the Rings … and Harry Potter. I often think they should have just left it at the first film. But it was fun, light entertainment. And, of course, Brendan Fraser – although I wish they’d give him a different hair cut every now and then. He always, always looks like Brendan Fraser.

Who knows what I’ll end up doing for the rest of the day? I have plenty to be going on with, I may pop up to the village (on foot) to get a few provisions, and tonight Changeling is on, starring Angelina Jolie. I switched my Sky Movies back on when they offered it at half price for 4 months. I was going to switch them back on in the New Year anyway, but this offer came up and I thought, why not?

Today’s picture came from GreenFinder.

12 thoughts on “>Oh. My. Gawd.

  1. Becky 21 December 2009 / 12:29 pm

    >Dianne…those roads are terrifying ! Yesterday I applied my breaks but the car carried on. Really shook me up !! I've heard that driving in second gear is good instead of first..not sure why…. I think I'll give myself an extra half hour to get to work today.


  2. Diane 21 December 2009 / 12:43 pm

    >Imagine how much more terrifying in a strange car? I just tried remembering "drop down a gear" and "DON'T TOUCH THE BRAKES". I do know how to steer out of a skid, but I don't fancy it in my own car let alone a strange car.Be safe.


  3. carolwarham 21 December 2009 / 12:45 pm

    >Just spent a snowed-in weekend with both mums. We should have been at a concert in the Town Hall last night but it was cancelled thru snow. The roads aren't usually this bad for us but I ended up an hour late for work, at least we got both m's on the trains home, so my house is my own again! I've heard Swannick is very good


  4. Diane 21 December 2009 / 12:47 pm

    >I'd love to know where the gritters are again. They seem to be the stuff of fairytales at the moment.At least you got the mums safely installed on trains. I bet being snowed in with them both was … interesting. :o)


  5. Devon Ellington 21 December 2009 / 2:22 pm

    >So sorry it didn't come with the manual. That always makes things easier — unless it's badly written!I'm always all over the mechanic about my brakes. I like tight brakes. I want to be able to stop on a dime using only my big toe.


  6. Diane 21 December 2009 / 2:45 pm

    >The last hire car I had didn't have a manual either, and I got as far as 1 mile down the road before coming back. It's amazing how you get used to something like rubbish brakes, but I've never ever felt confident with them. Might ask them again when it goes in for its next service.


  7. Lori 21 December 2009 / 2:53 pm

    >Oh, not the lights and alarms! We hired a car on our way from the Cotswolds to Inverness. It was wonderful, but it was too smart for us. It may have been a Ford – entirely too big for the back roads!


  8. Diane 21 December 2009 / 3:15 pm

    >What a terrific journey, very scenic I bet. "Smart" is a good description. What happened to cars that do what we tell them to? :o)


  9. Teresa Ashby 21 December 2009 / 3:40 pm

    >Argh I hate driving strange cars and it must be ten times worse in this weather. Hope you gets yours back tomorrow.The ice is starting to thaw a bit here.It's funny you saying about Brendan Fraser's hair – I was thinking just that while watching Inkheart. And I didn't like the third Mummy film as much as the previous ones either, but agree with you about the other sequels you mentioned.


  10. Diane 21 December 2009 / 3:47 pm

    >I particularly thought the thing about the hair in the 3rd Mummy as he's supposed to be about 20 years older, yet he's hardly changed a bit. But it would have been good if he'd looked even more different in Inkheart as he was playing a totally different character … allegedly.Great minds though, eh? :o)The strange car thing was one of the issues I had at work when they told me I had to hire a car instead of use my own. Erm, I don't think so, especially when I travel once in a blue moon and when Health & Safety is such a big thing. Not very safe to force us to drive strange cars over long distances.


  11. Melissa Marsh 21 December 2009 / 4:16 pm

    >Changeling is heart-wrenching, but good (if you can keep from thinking that Angelina Jolie looks like a twig and will break at any moment).


  12. Diane 21 December 2009 / 4:22 pm

    >Oh dear … I try not to watch sad films … :o( Mind you, I tend to avoid the sad films about animals, I'm usually ok with sad films about kids … :o)


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