Thursday, 1 April 2010

"Sob, sob, sob, sob" (pause) "sob ....."

I should have known yesterday would be a bad day when I woke up with a hacking cough and pain behind my ears. I should have stayed in bed. I should not have set foot outside the door and I most certainly should not have gone down that sodding dirt track to the allotment in the rain.

I was expecting the shed to be delivered. Got a phone call from the delivery driver quite early, "Fab" I thought, "delivery out of the way, leaves the rest of the day free". Trundled down to the allotment, met the driver, signed for the shed, off they go - done and dusted at 10am.

But you already know it's not going to be that simple don't you?

Getting into the allotment site wasn't a problem but driving out the car suddenly stopped moving, Xanthe laughed and said "Look at all that mud on my window!". Yes, the wheels were spinning in the slipware the road surface had turned into, spraying liquid mud all over the car. My worst allotment nightmare come true - we were stuck.

I suddenly realised how vulnerable we were. Rural location, about 2 miles from home with a 3 year old who can walk half a mile max, no pushchair, no food, no water, no shops, no facilities.

I made a valiant attempt to free myself. Hauled the tiles we'd used as a path on the allotment over to the car and wedged them under the tyres. Nothing. Found an old door in the hedgerow which I laid on the mud. Nothing. Tried to push the bugger. Nothing.

So now, I have the cough, the ear pain, I'm cold, covered in mud and exhausted. Xanthe is bored, cold and thirsty and is screaming her little lungs out. Thank goodness I had my mobile and the number of my breakdown recovery service (yes I did knock on the doors of neighbouring houses to ask for help, shame on you the cottage who pretended not to be in, the others were empty) I can't begin to imagine what I'd have done if I'd left my phone at home as I am wont to do.

2 hours,1 tearful phone call to a hard hearted call centre who tried to claim I wasn't covered and 1 tow truck later I was home. That just leaves the car to clean inside and out, all our clothes to wash, the cakes to make for the Easter Fair and red wine to buy (and, boy, does that red wine need buying) the school run, tea to make and school disco to taxi for. And Adam's train's delayed so it's still many hours til I can crack open that red wine (weep) ((again))


  1. Oh Tracey...what a terrible day...on the bright side I don't think it could get any worse. I feel very lucky right now that my allotment is only a 5min walk away from my houise.

    On the bright side...once the shed is up then your 3 year old will have an adventure spot to play in if something terrible like this ever happens again...a good thing to do is also keep some fresh bottles of water and cereal bars in your shed...warm water isn't great but it's better than nothing and the bars are always handy to have in.

    Hope the weather clears up so you can again get to enjoying your allotment.

  2. Thanks for the sympathy - think we need it! My parents are staying this weekend (with their 4 x 4) so we're hoping to get the shed up. Once we've got somewhere to store tools etc we can leave the car on the road and walk to the plot.

    I normally take water and cereal bars but I thought I was only popping up there for 5 mins .... Good idea to keep them in the shed though.

  3. Sorry to hear about your nightmare day!

    Couple of tips for future reference. These tend to be quite good for light surface traction problems:,-motorhome,-car-MPL536_W0QQitemZ280484711161QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxq20100328?IMSfp=TL100328227001r29859

    If you're stuck without any sort of recovery aid, turn the steering to full lock, select second gear, then let the clutch in VERY slowly. The steering lock helps by forcing the tyres to dig in on their edges and tends to push you away from the problem area as soon as you get any grip. Partially deflating your tyres will also help, by increasing the amount of tyre in contact with the ground.

    Failing that, do as I did and buy a very cheap 4x4 as your transport to the plot!

  4. Oh poor you. I hope the next trip makes up for that one, it is all worth it, honestly.

  5. Thanks for the tips - though I'm hoping the opportunity to put them into practice doesn't arise!

  6. Those wheel grip mats look really interesting, may have to invest in some of those.