Driving me crazy

The weather this summer has been “ if I was tending to optimistic euphemisms “quite interesting. I was making this very comment to Carol as the M4 slip road disappeared under a raging torrent of flood water. The previous 45 minutes had crammed in a whole interesting adjectives such as dangerous, awash, scary and if I can throw in a noun – biblical.

And to exciting let me add odd. Specifically the oddness surrounding a scenario where the bow wave generated by a car from the other carriageway sweeps over the bonnet, overwhelms the wipers and crashes against the screen bringing with it the real threat of imminent drowning.

At one point during this watery voyage, a BMW actually sunk up to the door seals while attempting to abandon the post apocalyptic carnage that was the motorway which, at least, shows that God has a sense of humour.

Still quite interesting this, I ventured through gritted teeth as mile after mile of aquaplaning drove slow progress westwards towards some distant vision of weather sanity. Behind us, landslips blocked the motorway and passengers were being decanted from flooded trains scheduled for “ but never arriving at Bicester. Chiltern Railways again eh? I bet God was pissing himself. Literally.

Just plotting a non water based route onto the Motorway was tough enough. The rain continued to hammer down as we were besieged in a gray dark lit only by a thousand brake lights. Our way was blocked by the unusual July hazard of the road ahead being two feet below the water table. A diversion through a roundabout summering as a tidal pond was enlivened by a flock of stranded metal ducks floating gently in this murky soup.

Being aware that buried somewhere in the handbook would be a warning that this vehicle was not fitted with the optional hull and outboard motor, my route was a more circumspect plunge through still sufficient wet stuff to bury a much loved family pet. That’s assuming your animal of choice is lion sized or bigger.

As water cascaded over the windows, my grimace of fear sounded an odd counterpoint when a little used accountancy gland secreted stomach churning bile. This complex chemical reaction could best be summarised as tell me again, exactly how much does a new engine cost ?.

The sun finally broke through clouds, still heavy with more rain, as we crested a hill hiding the first green folds of the Devonshire countryside. Ten minutes later I turned off the wipers and began the difficult mental therapy of pretending the last four hours had been nothing more than a very bad, yet extremely vivid dream.

And when finally arriving bedraggled and horribly frazzled at the holiday cottage, what do you think the first thing we did? You got it, went for a swim.

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