Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Me and Distance Driving…

…Pathetic but true

I have been driving for over 50 years (yes, I'm that old!). This means that I’ve had more than enough time to hone the craft and I am fine around town but distance driving has never been my strength. Last weekend I visited family in North Manchester. I’ve done it before but will I ever be brave enough to do it again? It was so traumatic that I need to share the experience, by way of therapy. Please don’t feel obliged to read to the end. This one’s for me!

The Journey there: I thought I’d try a different route, avoid the dreaded M6, so I went up the M1 and over the top of Sheffield. That’s a pretty road, especially where it crosses the Pennines. I even pulled over on a lay-by for a few minutes to admire the view. I wouldn’t have done that if I’d known what was round the next corner. I’d never heard of the village Tintwhistle before. I have now. I spent almost an hour crawling towards Tintwhistle and then through Tintwhistle and then out the other side of Tintwhistle.

The Journey home: I was resigned to taking the dreaded M6 route but thankfully the motorway was clear… clear for the M6, that is. I transferred from M6 to A500 feeling smug until I reached the A50. There is a large roundabout on that road with signs saying how many lorries have overturned there during the year. That weekend I don’t suppose any lorries were about to overturn because the road beyond was shut, barred with red and white striped barriers.

Any seasoned traveller would have stopped and reassessed. I panicked. I went round the roundabout and drove back the way I had come. I had crazy thoughts of driving back to Manchester but knew that wasn’t an option. I drove all the way back to the M6. I drove South to the A5. I drove through a place called Cannock. I drove through numerous other places that I had never been to before. I was gripping the steering wheel, ‘rabbit in headlights’ mode. I should have stopped. Why didn’t I stop? I drove on for four hours. When I got home I sat on the settee with a substantial whisky and didn’t move for several hours. That night I had flashbacks of red and white striped barriers. Pathetic but true.

Thank you for allowing me to off-load.


  1. Oh Ros - is there no way of going my train?

    1. Hi Jo. I went by train last time. It's not an easy route - three trains and a taxi - but this time I wanted to bring some heavy stuff home with me and you can't do that by train!

  2. Hi Jo ... I don't have sat nav and tend to use whatever remnants of a brain I have and intuition as to which way to go - so I definitely get thrown if I can't go 'my route' ... well done on getting home safely ... and yes the whisky was definitely deserved. Next time ....? Relaxez-vous ... and have a good rest of the week - cheers Hilary

  3. Believe me I feel your pain. I hate roundabouts. Not many in TX thank goodness. It is tricky navigating new territory. But rest up and get on that horse again. I have faith in you, and there's lots to see and do out there

  4. Oh how horrible. That's the reason I gave up driving,I hated it.


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