Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Skidding on Ice

All melting away nicely it was, last night. Ahhhh goodbye snow, I thought, and hello Spring. Catkins. Lambs. Daffodils. I'm ready for you now.

Then it all turned to slush and froze solid during the night. Damn.

So this morning we had an interesting new form of Weather where it all looked like slush but was in fact ice, not water. So when you stepped on it - - - well, even Torvill and Dean would have had problems.

I had to be at a venue along the ring road for a roleplay by twenty to nine and it was under five miles away but I left myself nearly an hour.

The traffic was nose to tail in the inside lane and as we made our cautious way along I was pleased to find that Leeds City Council had thoughtfully placed a gritting lorry (yes, they do exist, I've seen one) directly in front of me. This, I tell you, was a Good Thing.

A car on the opposite side of the dual carriageway had crashed, clearly at some speed, into the middle barrier, bending the barrier to the exact shape of the front of the car. By the time I passed it the driver was nowhere in sight so I don't know what had happened to him or her.

Ironically, when I had just passed it, a car overtook me - and the line of cars of which I was part - at ridiculously high speed and carried on like Jensen Button. Clearly the black ice which was causing us all to be cautious didn't apply to him. He zoomed off into the distance.

If by any chance he was totally thick and lacking in all imagination, I would have thought that the sight of the car that had smashed into the central barrier might have made him pause for thought a bit. But no.

What I should have liked was for a giant grabber hook like you get in fairgrounds to come down from the sky and pick up his car, shaking it gently until he fell out of it into a pile of snow. And then the Brian Blessed-type voice would boom, "That's it, mate. You're an idiot and you're never going to drive a car again."

Sadly that didn't happen. And although I find it hard to muster any sympathy for Speeding Idiot, I would have had lots and lots for anyone he'd crashed into.

About a mile further the gritting lorry changed lanes and I was going to turn right at the roundabout so couldn'f follow it any more. Pretty soon I hit a patch of black ice and all the wheels just spun round uselessly for a few moments. But because I was travelling at about two miles an hour I managed to get off it and to continue on my merry way.

I got to the roleplay fine and had a very enjoyable morning. The journey back was a bit easier as it had warmed up slightly by then - it was only freezing, rather than well below.

The trouble is, we have a whole generation of drivers who have never, ever, driven in snow and ice and don't know quite how scary it is when the car skids. And I'm quite sure that they're going round crashing into cars and pedestrians, because it's very easily done. If the Government won't equip me with the big grabber hook, I'm not sure how to stop them.


Blogger Ailbhe said...

The Grabber Hand of God. Good plan.

10:51 pm  
Blogger Dfo said...

I think there was a public information film that had a Big Pointy Finger admonishing a bad driver - it would have been before your time, though, I think

10:56 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Ah, Torvill and Dean! I remember them quite vividly. Can't believe it's been 26 years. But I got a good laugh watching them again depicting you, Speeding Idiot, and the gritting truck on your way to roleplay.

1:55 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

A thousand pardons. I meant gritting lorry.

1:57 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

So it was you behind that gritting lorry? You're right - you are tortoise-like! I just had to get by you as I had an appointment to purchase a rare Hull City programme from the nineteen twenties. You may not be delighted to know that I got there quickly in one piece and just managed to avoid the giant mechanical grabber you had ordered.

2:20 pm  
Blogger Dumdad said...

I become incensed when I see these idiots speed like that. The other day I was taking my daughter to her ballet class and I was being tailgated and honked by some twat -well, he had a point as I was exactly on the speed limit and no one adhers to that in France do they?

I sometimes wish I had a James Bond car and could blow these people off the roads!

6:55 pm  

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