Saturday, 1 September 2018

All Tyred Out

Well hello out there, yes it's little old me! Finally opening up my laptop rather than than just playing away with another game of solitaire (and Candy Crush) on my little tablet.  I am actually quite amazed that this laptop has agreed to be turned on, let alone patiently wait while it updated just about everything which took all afternoon.  So I have decided that I can't just switch it back off again but will thank it's trust in me by writing a little about where we are at.

My last post was at a very bad time, my mental health was taking an absolute battering. My youngest daughter was an in patient at a (thankfully local) mental health unit being treated for anorexia, anxiety and depression.  The good news is she was able to leave after 6 months and though we still have a way to go, progress is gently being made towards recovery.  The not so good news is that her physical health has taken a battering and we are now in the throes of trying to get that sorted out.  Little did I know that the following month from that last post I would be told that my eldest child had been keeping something under wraps unable to talk about it with us for going on 7 years.  Thank fully since opening up I can now embrace my new daughter and we can share the burden that was burying her.  I may write more on our journey through the transgender highway another time.

So did the picture give you a clue about what has been on my mind?  It is actually a real picture, taken by my youngest daughter last bank holiday Monday.  My faith as you can imagine has been taking a real battering through our many trials.  However many years ago when I started blogging I used to love reading blogs by Ann Voskamp about counting your blessings.  I ended up with quite a lot of bed bound time after getting home from an unforgettable journey and blessings began to pour out in my prayers for just how 'blessed' my daughter and I had been.

The picture shows my poor little car stranded between the first lane and the grass verge on the southbound carriage way of the A34.  Moments before I had been doing 70mph on the M40, after coming off and onto the A34 it felt like I was loosing a little power with the accelerator but that seemed to pass and I was soon cruising through at about 60mph, then in a blink there was an odd noise, followed by a clunk and suddenly my steering wheel was desperately trying to shake me off.
I had to hold the steering wheel so hard that I was suddenly slowing down and aware that I needed to let the drivers around me know that I was in trouble.  "Emergency lights" was all I was able to shout to my daughter, the correct term of putting on your hazard lights completely failing to come out.  My passenger side front tyre had blown.  For anyone that knows the A34 it is a horrible road,  prone to some of the most serious accidents as there is no hard shoulder but it feels like a motorway in this particular stretch.  I quickly was able to tell my daughter to get out and behind the crash barrier that was on her side.  Realising that there was far to much traffic for me to try and get out the drivers door I got my very stiff and ailing body to clamber over to the passenger seat grabbing my phone and also getting behind the barrier.  Now here comes the first of my blessings:
  • The day before I had met up with friends and left my car lights on while we went in a tea shop and for a little walk at a favourite beauty spot.  When I returned to the car my battery was as dead as it could be.  It took me 30 minutes to find out which emergency breakdown service we now belonged to - but got sorted and thanks to amazing friends were able to carry on our family visiting and get back to our next hotel stop with hardly any delay.  So where's the blessing you might add - if all this hadn't happened.  I would have been standing in the cold (not wet as it had been the day before - another blessing!!) on the side of a very busy road trying to find out which emergency service we belonged to.  As it was I could go onto my phones log and ring the right one straight away.
Now my youngest daughter is learning to drive at the moment.  She has only had a few lessons but likes to talk about it and mention what the speed limit is quite regularly! Now her beloved saxophone was in the car along with my mobility scooter (okay so she trumps me, her saxophone is worth more) she was getting more and more anxious about it as we watched many HGV's hurtling pass my tiny little car.  She was desperate to get it out but I had to be STRICT mommy, she was not to pass over the safety barrier for anything other than living persons.  Everything else all though terribly important  was covered by insurance!  So along came another blessing:

  • The police contacted me to check we were keeping safe.  They got to us before the breakdown recovery van.  They stopped the whole southband traffic so that we could safely come over the barrier, completely validating my insistence that we did NOT cross over the barrier for anything in the car.  Yes we were cold but we were safe.
My daughter got to ride in the police car with blue lights flashing, keeping the traffic behind him while I sat in the passenger seat of my car and the lovely policelady drove my injured vehicle to the next parking layby, there was my next blessing:

  • The layby was out of sight but really not that far so my inner wheel was not damaged by being driven on with a completely flat falling off tyre.
 Just as we were pulling into the layby the next blessing was rushing to get in:
  • The breakdown recovery man phoned to say he was very close.  This meant two blessings really, the police could go and continue their great work on our streets and roads AND we didn't have to wait long to be recovered .
So you would think that was the end of the story ....... however it was not.  The lovely recovery man asked me if I had a spare tyre and I was certain I did not, remembering seeing a can of the gunk that is supposed to make do for a spare as most cars have these days.  He did some ringing round to find a tyre place open on bank holiday Monday then proceeded to go take my wheel off to take it away to get it fixed.  He needed a key, I had no idea what he was talking about, just that he needed something to get my tyre off.  So along came the next blessing:
  •  I could not think where I would have such a thing stored other than under the floor of my boot where I kept an emergency blanket, etc.  He opened the back up, we had to take some of my scooter bits out which thankfully my husband had put in, in pieces so that I could get it out (another blessing!) under the floor was a tray which made the recovery man do a 'hang on a minute' noise.  He lifted the tray and there snuggled like a babe in a rocker was my spare tyre. This of course meant no trip to get a very expensive bank holiday tyre replaced, instead we were back on the road with 30 minutes.
The life lessons for us both were obvious the rest of the journey home.  My daughter learnt lots about road safety, she was very sobered to see that if we had broken down just a few miles further on there was no safety barrier and we would have had to try and climb (with my poor old body) up an embankment to be safe.  I now have the peace of mind, knowing that she will know exactly what she needs to do if every caught in a similar situation.

Now you would think that one tyre related incident would be quite enough for one family.  However just a few weeks earlier my husband and I had a near miss with a lorry losing a pair of tyres which we watched bounce across the motorway to hit the central reservation so hard that they then bounced back in front of us and UP a slip road.  Despite feeling quite jet lagged having just come off a night flight my hero of a husband kept his cool and we got home in one piece.

So that's all I am going to say about TYRES, except to reiterate that enough is enough, could all tyres just stay on their vehicles for the foreseeable future please!!


  1. What a story Jane.
    Glad to hear you had a run of good luck for a change. Your guardian angel must have returned from her long holiday.
    Welcome back. In more ways than one.

  2. Hi Ray, thank you, I've missed you xx