Friday, 11 February 2011

Roller Coasters are for pussies .....

..... pass me the cream bowl.

Early yesterday evening 30% and I popped out to see a Blacksmith at his Forge over the other side of Droitwich. He was a nice guy and the iron curtain poles were just what we wanted so an order was placed for a couple of the bedrooms and the landing. We then returned to the car and drove off. Within 300 yards 30%'s car stalled in the middle of a country lane and refused to start.

Not what you want to see down a dark country lane

When I say Country Lane I mean COUNTRY LANE it was narrow with high banks and hedges either side."Ah" you are thinking "Banjo Country, stuck in the middle of nowhere"  - "No" this lane was like the M1. Within is a couple of minutes we had cars behind us and a truck in front. So there we were blocking a country lane in the dark.

I got out to explain our predicament to the truck driver. He was understanding and said he would reverse back. As we were talking a Traveller Gentleman in a small flat bed wagon asked if I wanted a tow out of the lane on to the main road. We gratefully accepted and within a few minutes were attached to his wagon by about 12' of rope - make a note of this as it becomes relevant later on.

So off we went at a fairly sedate 20 miles per hour down the lane. Mind you 20 mph down a narrow lane is bad enough add in that I am 12' from the back of a truck with no power steering and no brake servos and, lets say, it demanded a high degree of concentration.

At the end of the lane we stopped and my new Traveller friend came to untie us. He asked where we were from and we told him. He was unfamiliar with the village but was going to Redditch which was a damned site nearer civilisation than we were at present. He offered to tow us and we gratefully accepted. Thus began the ride of a lifetime.

If you have never been towed before let me tell you that it is not fun. It demands absolute concentration in a vehicle which handles like an absolute pig due to the lack of power assistance to steering and breaks. Remember I was 12' from the back of a truck and could see nothing so could only concentrate on his brake lights with my foot hovering over the centre pedal. It was dark and the route took us around the edge of Bromsgrove and down a dual carriage way. Roundabouts, drizzle and the end of the rush hour summed up the conditions. I wasn't having fun.

I hoped things would be better when we got on to the dual carriage way but my Traveller Buddy seemed to think that 50 mph was a suitable towing speed. So there we were, 12' from the back of a truck at 50 mph in the dark. Every cell of my body was screaming hit the brakes but I could do nothing but go along for the ride. You will not believe the sense of relief when we finally drew to a halt in Redditch.

As I said in the title Roller Coasters are for pussies, pay a Gippo £30 to tow you 16 miles along a blend of country lanes, suburban roundabouts and fast dual carriage ways if you really want to get your heart pumping and a real sense of danger.

Epilogue

A quick call to 30%'s younger brother got us a lift home and then Dickie and I went out with the Defender to tow the car at a far more sedate pace back home.

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