I’m writing this now because I am filled with adrenaline and feel in shock about what just happened. I am writing this now because for me writing is my sanity. I may not post it, I may do. But right now I need to get this story down, a story about my journey home from visiting my Grandad.
It was a beautiful sunny day. Unexpected as rain had been forecast but a bonus on all accounts. I’d been outside a lot throughout the day, though the morning was spent sat at my desk so I didn’t feel so bad for soaking up some rays from 1pm onward. I’d been on a gorgeous dog walk with my friend, sat in another friends garden peacefully catching up and then headed to Bury St Edmunds, a twenty minute drive down the road. “Simples,” as Sergei the Meerkat would say.
We’d received a text from Mum saying ‘be careful, the roads may be slippery’ and with the hospital blinds being shut for the duration of our visit, we thought she must have gone mad. Instead, she’d preempted the fact that we’d been enclosed by West Suffolk Hospital and so were totally unaware about the storm approaching.
We soon realised how very right our Mum was as we peeped through a gap to see the black clouds quickly replacing the blue skies and I got a text from a friend in our village twenty minutes away saying that the storm had already arrived. Dressed as we were as if holidaying in Spain, my sister and I rushed to the car in attempt to avoid getting soaked.
This we achieved and thought we’d beaten the storm until we approached the dual carriageway to a wall of white. I honestly thought that was it, we’d never make it home. I couldn’t see the car in front, I couldn’t even see the road. At this point my sister decided to introduce me to the concept of aquaplaning which I found highly inappropriate as the panic strengthened and my legs felt weak.
Bearing in mind we were travelling on the inside lane, I saw lights among the mist to the left of us so gathered people were pulling into a lay-by. I guessed right, luckily, and proceeded to join the queue of traffic neatly (somehow) and patiently (who knows how) awaiting the storm to end.
We followed the leader and pulled back onto the carriageway when the rain had lightened. As we continued driving on discussing what had just happened and trying to calm down, I looked into my wing mirror to see a black piece of my car hanging at right angles off the side and flapping aggressively in the wind.
Panic continued and we hazarded our way off to another lay-by to ring the person anybody would ring in this situation, Mum. She hadn’t a clue other than to take the next exit and go home via country lanes. Great plan. Solid effort Mum. Genuinely.
This was great until we realised most country lanes aren’t level meaning most would be flooded. We weren’t wrong which we discovered on the first road we drove down. We came across practically a river in the middle of the road which the 4X4 could happily go through but our tiny Ford Fiesta could not.
We demonstrated a level of listening in our driving tests, did the first three-point turn since passing and swiftly backtracked in search of a different route. As we drove along and I got progressively more uneasy about this black bit of car flapping about, we pulled over at which point it fell off. Sorted.
Onward and upwards, and hopefully a new car soon! Filled with adrenaline, we made it home and I sat in the car a while after we’d parked trying to bring myself back down to earth. As scary as it was, it could have been far worse. We managed to remain calm and nobody got hurt.
Moral of the story is never to rush. Always be careful when driving, no matter how desperate you are to get somewhere. The road can be a very dangerous place and it’s times like these when that becomes evermore apparent.