Arsehole Junction and Glass Bottles

I’m going to say that my courageous solo voyage to Heathrow to collect the love of my life went so-so. Actually, that’s a lie – it didn’t go, full stop.

Full of beans but also a little jittery, I skipped down the stairs clutching B’s car keys and headed out. I was early so I wouldn’t have to panic if I ended up taking a wrong turn and as I expected to be very early out at terminal 5, I’d taken my laptop as I was sure I’d have as much as an hour to have a coffee and write waiting for B to land and come through to arrivals. Got in, adjusted the seat and mirrors and did a quick check of all controls until I felt confident I knew where everything was.

I circled the block a couple of times, then widened the loop a few streets at a time. Oh fuck it! Piece of cake! I’ve driven B’s car several times and even managed to navigate the huge roundabout at Hangar Lane and get us to IKEA and back on a very busy weekend, but he’s always been next to me and especially in roundabouts I get nervous when there are several lanes. So my nerves had little to do with my ability and more to do with being on my own with no B to reassure or advise me. But after circling around Grove Park for a bit I realised it was all just in my head, so full of resolve I decided on one last practice loop and a bigger one: head out the A4 towards Heathrow, but turn off into Brentford and round again, and once back in Chiswick I’d head off and this time shoot to the airport and no turning off.

It went great, and I confidently changed lanes, overtook and turned off without any problems or nerves hampering progress. Came back into Chiswick and drove past our old place (love!!) just before the big roundabout. No problem there either, just whizzed through it and felt ever so big and clever and was more than ready to head to Heathrow, come what may!

So I drove in towards what we affectionately refer to as ‘Arsehole Junction’ (because people act like complete arseholes there), where you come out to the A4 again from ‘central’ Chiswick, opposite where I’d come up before from Grove Park. As I went through a little roundabout just before going down there, there was a dull bang, sort of like a thud, and the car jerked a little. Despite being careful, I thought I might have hit the curb but was confused as I was certain I’d kept perfect distance to everything. I didn’t much fancy the idea of meeting B at the airport along with showing him some dent or damage to his lovely car, so instead of turning down the A4 I drove straight across and parked at home to check.

PUNCTURE.

Spat and swore and ranted for a bit, then ordered a taxi for B and tried to work out how to solve this little pickle. Of course, I had no idea what one might do in London and I had no idea where to find tools etc to fit the spare tyre, much less confident enough to change wheels if I’d had to. I did know how to do this once upon a time, but it seemed like a Very Bad Idea.

B arrived home in said taxi and together we went out to survey the damage. He showed me where all the things were in the car – everything from the spare wheel to how to remove the security bolt (I would never have figured all this out) – and asked me to move the car out from the curb a little so he’d be able to properly get to it. Sure! As I reversed out, there was another dull bang.

Oh my God! That’s just like before!” I shrieked and gestured wildly at B, who had suddenly covered his face with his hands – turns out I’d just moved the car across a glass bottle that subsequently shattered under one of the non-punctured tyres.

Good work. Let’s just hope that one isn’t flat in the morning.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s