Words that flow...

Words and images - powerful elements of our everyday life. Most of the time we take them for granted, but sometimes something happens to make you aware of how important they are... and how thankful you are to have the opportunity to use or appreciate them. Here lies some of my words and pictures (which are untouched apart from cropping, unless I've said otherwise) - Please add your words to mine, and leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!

01 September 2007

Breakdown

This is how I spent one of my days of the holiday:






This particular day, I'd told my son I'd fetch him from his Dad's, an hour's drive away, to take him to the dentist nearer home. Then I was to return him to his dad's, and come back home.

Well, pick up was fine and dentist was fine, then, when we headed back to his dad's, and there was a build up of traffic.

There had been an overturned lorry on the motorway, and we'd just past an exit (M23) so there was no way of getting off the road for another mile or two. The traffic hardly moved at all, then came to a grinding halt. Up to this point took the grand total of two hours. As is my wont, I switched off the engine each time we stopped for any length of time.

We had now (finally) gone a few hundred metres and reached the slip road of the M23; and the traffic appeared to suddenly be moving faster, and I thought whatever had blocked the carriageway had been moved. I turned the ignition and...nothing. We were in the middle of three lanes of traffic moving round us, with a further two lanes coming on to the motorway just where we were, and the engine wouldn't start!!! Yikes!

At that point, my lovely son, all on his toes, decided to phone his stepmother to tell her we might be late!! Of all times. I could even hear her saying, "Are you off the motorway?" whilst I was shouting at him we needed to get off before the traffic really got going.

I needn't have worried. After that initial spurt, it all settled down into inertia again. Somehow, though, before it did, the two of us (of course nobody came to help.... they sat in their cars and watched the show! :-S) managed to push the car to the side through cars that were coming out towards us.

Anyhow, we made it to the hard shoulder of the slip road, so now had five lanes of traffic to our right. I had to phone my sister for my breakdown service number as I'd taken the card out a couple of days earlier to write down the number (dont' ask!) and forgot to put it back. And so started an afternoon of phone calls...to home, to the AA, to the ex, and all and sundry.

We left Tunbridge Wells at 1pm, and even though we were only a mile from our destination, when we were finally rescued at 7pm (apparently the soonest anyone could get to us, despite the accident having been cleared an hour earlier :-( ) we had the choice of going on and remaining there, or returning home. We chose home. We didn't get back until 9pm as there were jams everywhere that day. I'd left home at 9am, so it was nearly a full 12 hours on the road!!

The very worst thing was the lack of food or drinks - mostly drinks. All I wanted was a glass of water. Luckily we'd had a quick bite before we'd left T.W., but by 6pm, standing for over 4 hours in the pouring rain, on the side of a motorway with no barrier to sit on, with no food and no drink, I can tell you I could almost have eaten the wasp that crawled up my legs (twice!). I kept imagining what it would be like to have a pint cup of tea, and each time I spoke to the woman on the other end of the AA line, she said she'd see if whoever fetched us could bring us something, or take us somewhere after we got of the motorway. That never happened.

On the way home, though, it occurred to me I could do with a hot, spicy meal courtesy of the rather excellent Indian takeaway in the village (one of the few shops we have), and phoned my sister to ask her to order it. When we got home (9pm remember, soaking wet and knackered with all the phoning and hopping around to keep warm) the meal was ready. Yum!! Boy, was it good!


(Son had just opened window when engine died.
Couldn't shut it, so it rained in the
window for the next six hours!
Towel is to stop the electrics getting too wet...)


But, do you know what the very worst of it all was? Next morning, I went out to the car with another AA guy (it was too late to be fixing the car the night before, and besides which my son and I were exhausted!) I found my son's bag on the floor where he'd been sitting. Since the car was about to be towed to the nearest garage, I figured I'd better take it into the house. It kind of sloshed. I opened the bag up, and lo - a flask of coffee, a banana and a cereal bar!!! I just stared in amazement. We'd had no food or drink for 8 hours, and it would have made all the difference in the world...and here in my son's bag was sustenance!!

Of course, I went quickly back in the house, and shook my sleeping son awake (being a teenager... rarely up before mid-day in the holidays!) and asked him why he hadn't said anything about the goodies in the bag.

His answer? "I forgot."

GRrrrrr!!!

© Annelisa Christensen 7:45 pm

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16 Comments:

At September 01, 2007 10:17 pm, Blogger QUASAR9 said...

lol gotta laugh
and who packed his bag

 
At September 02, 2007 6:19 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

Not me, for sure! I think I might've remembered, Quasar!! But you do gotta laugh at these things, don't you! When I finally dropped son off to his dad's, I told his step-mother, and now he gets a ribbing wherever he is :-D

 
At September 02, 2007 9:16 am, Blogger Petercrys said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At September 02, 2007 2:31 pm, Blogger Pauline said...

This story had me reliving the past. LOL
Thanks for your recent visit....Richard Hittleman's Yoga 28 Day Exercise Plan can be purchased online and it is a wonderful tool. You will not be forced into extreme moves. After 28 days, you will be amazed at your progress. Best wishes!

 
At September 02, 2007 3:20 pm, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! Just write off that day! Pack an emergency picnic bag kit for the car!! I have a glove compartment full of candy!!

 
At September 02, 2007 4:37 pm, Blogger twilite said...

Hi Annelisa! One of those days huh? Take care. LOL.

Wishing you a joyful n joy-noise fun-loving kids (or otherwise) 1st term back at school.

 
At September 02, 2007 7:39 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

Hi Petercrys - good to hear from you again, and thankyou so much on your compliments. I think your blog, Petercrys Homepage (you have more than me, I think!) is very helpful to people, and informative to. It's a great idea.

I've got a video, Pauline...it's got a couple of 10 minute sessions, a 25 minute and a 35 minute one...all of different levels. It seems to be quite good, and I definitely feel stronger when I've finished! I looked up the book you suggested - it looks good, but I kind of like to have someone to look at, to see if I'm doing it right :-)

:-) Typical, MOI - you have diabetes and you have a car full of candy! I did actually find a pack of buttercandy in the glove compartment, but only after we got the car back from the garage, and I tried to find the radio code (as the battery had run down as part of the breakdown, it needed re-setting). But, I certainly think an emergency rations kit is a good idea, and will have to think of what would be the most useful, long-lasting thing to keep in the car... chocolate would be good if it didn't melt so darn easily! :-D

Hi Twilite... Oh yes, I'm sooooo looking forward to the new term (not!) I don't feel like I've really had a holiday. Well, I haven't been anywhere, and have spent the whole time trying to get back to a reasonable level. Still, I need to work to live, and it's a good job...

It was good to pop over to yours today, and see those strange little flowers!

 
At September 03, 2007 12:14 am, Blogger twilite said...

Hi Annelisa! Thank you for dropping by and your insightful words. Take care. C U.

 
At September 03, 2007 8:54 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Oh honey I know I shouldn't laugh but... especially as that would be my worse nightmare. I would have just cried!

I bet your car will be stocked up with bottled water and Kendal Mint Cake now eh???

So good to see you back xxxx ((hugs))

 
At September 03, 2007 5:26 pm, Blogger Akelamalu said...

PS don't forget to come and collect your award babe. See

http://akelamalu.blogspot.com/2007/08/nice-matters.html

 
At September 03, 2007 8:20 pm, Blogger steve said...

Good thing you did't go BAW,right?
soon i will have to get a car...it has been almost three years that I have made do without one and i'd would not have believed you could do without one but i'll tell you the truth..
Its been a freedom like I've never known.
Funny how when a day starts going "knackers" it just keeps going that way.

 
At September 04, 2007 2:03 am, Blogger Katie McKenna said...

kids are so funny!

Here's hoping for bright lights of love and laughter for you , today and always.

 
At September 04, 2007 2:30 am, Blogger mystic rose said...

:) for that answer. ( your son's).
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this poat. and it does a heart good to see that smile again. Welcome back, Annelisa!

 
At September 04, 2007 7:11 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

Twilite - loved your post about the flowers from the sky!

Akelamalu - I discovered on an early youth hostelling trip how much I hate Kendal Mint Cake, but I shall certainly find a substitute...actually, a few bags of bombay mix would be good :-)

Award? What I have I done to collect an award? I shall have to come see...

Steve- I know what you mean about not having a car being freedom... When my was in for fixing, knowing I couldn't go far except on my shank's pony (walking), so I did stuff that didn't require a lot of rushing around. Couldn't do without the car long-term though!

Katie - yes... little angels, aren't they! :-)

Mystic - it's good to see you too :-) I'll be over to visit later. Off to work now...

 
At September 12, 2007 11:35 pm, Blogger TopChamp said...

hello x i am back online today and so pleased to see you x

 
At September 13, 2007 6:26 am, Blogger TopChamp said...

pint cup of tea... do you mean a pint of tea? Or was that a freudian slip of sorts which really should just have been 'a pint'...?

 

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