Monday, November 25, 2013

A wonderful weekend�with a horrible ending :-(

So, I love Lincolnshire and have reluctantly forgiven my Dad for moving up here.
On Friday he & I strolled around the village and stopped in a pub for a pint (of beer � yes, I did!)
On Saturday the three of us went to another little village nearby called Woodhall Spa. This is a lovely village, with some really nice shops including a fantastic deli, an excellent butcher, a lovely Victorian / Edwardian hotel called The Petwood, where we had a little lunch, and a truly unique retro cinema called the Kinema in the Woods � a tiny little 2 screen cinema literally buried in a small woodland area, with an actual live organist who plays in the intermission when they play old movies!
On Sunday we all went into the beautiful city of Lincoln. I was born in Lincolnshire when my Dad, who was in the RAF, was based in a camp here, and apparently I visited Lincoln a few times in my early years, but I�ve no real memories of it apart from a very steep hill in the middle (It�s called Steep Hill � truth in advertising!!!) which you can climb to visit the castle and cathedral, and the lovely old shops in the Cathedral Quarter. We didn�t tour the castle or cathedral as it was a taster visit and we wanted to see everything, but did go into a few shops, and a cute little tea room which tempted me to forget the gluten thing and eat a scone with clotted cream and jam (best scone I�ve ever had!) while drinking hot chocolate with Baileys in it � amazing!!!
Then the horrible ending� If you�ve been to Lincolnshire you�ll know its very very flat, with acres and acres of sky, lots of reclaimed (drained) fenlands and enormous fields like something from the American midwest (I imagine � I�ve never been). At 5:45 this morning I headed off into the darkness (because these rural bits have no street lights ANYWHERE) on my way back to Nottingham. My TomTom took me on a bluntly horrible route through dead black countryside on a road that was dead straight for several miles, then right before a small village, it went into a series of sharp bends � also unlit.
I drove round a bend that I misjudged.
The road surface was damp and a little slick.
I went off the road and into a ditch.
The car was sitting nose first in a heavily overgrown drainage ditch with its ass sticking slightly out into the road, right after an almost blind bend, that is apparently a rat run, AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE.
It wasn�t coming out without being towed out.
I was being followed along the road by a lovely and very helpful lorry driver on his way to work. He stopped and helped me by calling the police (I had NO idea where the hell I was at this point) and let me sit in his car in the warm while we waited. Then another lovely thing (in context) � another car stopped. in that car were a couple, who happened to be police officers on their way to their station to start their shift. They let the first man go off as he was going to be late for work, and waited with me for the responding cars to arrive before going to work.
When it first happened I�d called my dad saying I was about 13 miles from his house, but unfortunately, as the tomtom had taken me on a route he wouldn�t use it took ages for him to find me (I didn�t know where I was and he didn�t know that area) so I sat in various police cars while waiting. I have to say that all the officers I spoke to today were lovely, very helpful, sympathetic and reassuring when I was feeling upset about things. Even being breathalysed (A new experience for me! And not one I want to repeat) wasn�t as freaky an experience as it could have been because they were so nice � if you have to have an accident I�ll recommend the Lincs police to anyone!
Eventually Dad showed up to get me and my stuff, and the officers let me go off while they waited for the recovery vehicle to come and get it. I think I was probably cursed by many, many commuters this morning especially when they had to close the road (briefly I hope) to let the recovery vehicle do its thing. Later I realised I�d left something I needed in the car and we drove to get it from the recovery site. I was nervous of seeing my baby in that place but actually it looked really pretty good, just one small dent in the front wing (and some foliage), lots of dirt and probably scratches, but I didn�t even break a head light (and the airbags never deployed either) so you can tell I nearly managed to stop it before the ditch happened. I will confess that when I realised what was happening I screamed like a little girl� I don�t think I ever have just screamed in fear before, at least not as an adult, its weird�
My car, as a flower pot�
Anyway, I didn�t hit hard but I still do have some aches, pains and stiffness today. At the time I was absolutely fine � but of course in shock slightly, or at any event under the influence of a major adrenalin surge. As the day has passed I�ve had new and different twinges and aches, most of which passed on by. I think the stress / tension I�ve been under today are as responsible as my accident itself � unless I get dramatically worse I can�t claim much sympathy. Consequently, assuming that I�m able to move tomorrow morning Dad is going to help me get back to Nottingham so I can go back to work, and I�ll have to decide what happens next as I get an update on the car and it�s immediate future. It looked like I could have driven it right away, but they still need to check it over, fix the dent and clean up some scratching before they�ll release it to me.  I got off lightly, but that doesn�t mean I�m taking it lightly. It was a horrible experience, a real downer after a great weekend (though not so bad that it put me off coming back to Lincolnshire again � it feels kind of like home) and an expensive mistake in terms of car recovery charges, repairs to the �road furniture� I damaged, a lost day�s work, etc etc� But I was very very lucky in terms of the lovely people I dealt with today, and although none of them will ever know about this post I still want to thank them for making a bad morning a little less bad.

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