Today is, officially, a bastard bloody horrible day.
Was intending to write a paid-for piece today. Woke up to TWO MORE FEET of snow, drifts around the car, had to dig it out.
Traffic on school road nose to tail. 40 minutes to drive 500 yards, nowhere to park. Car starts bouncing and the rear end is suspiciously low. Drop Younger Son off 20 minutes late for school.
Try to get Older Son to school: roads are slushy, cars are nose to tail, all roads to school are blocked. Car is very bouncy.
Turn round in the middle of heavy traffic and in front of a frowning policeman; drive over pavement to get back onto road; car bounces alarmingly. Pull over. Suspension has failed. Phone Obliging Husband, now in his office on the other side of the city; he promises to phone garage.
Abandon car, walk Older Son to school, get back to car. Hilly three mile round trip over snow, slush and ice completed in 40 mins. Knees hurt.
Obliging Husband reaches car. "Suspension's gone," he says. I know. We drive in tandem to mender's, car bouncing like Spotty Dog on springs.
Mender doesn't have part.
We drive in Obliging Husband’s Focus to get part, which is ten miles away through heaving traffic, slush and ice. Part costs £30. Drive back with Obliging Husband chanting, "This is too easy, it's not going to work." I try to refrain from slapping him.
Mender mends car in an hour and a half. Obliging Husband drives off to work leaving me to pay mender. My handbag is still in Obliging Husband’s car: I have no way to pay mender. Eventually he trusts me to return and gives me my car keys. Foolish man.
I drive seven miles home behind a learner going at 15mph in the middle of the road. I have not yet even had breakfast and it is now past 1pm.
I get to the bottom of the mile-long, single track, uphill, snow-covered lane to our house and hear GRINDING.
Half way up, at the cattle grid, is a van. The rubbish van (we don’t get the big truck, we’re too remote), driven by a man who must clearly be bonkers coming up here in this weather in a TRANSIT VAN. It is half on the track and half off. Behind it is a tow truck. Also stuck in the snow.
I lock my car and block them in, and walk half a mile home, uphill through three feet of snow.
I try to write my piece but Jack the dog is sick on my FOOT.
I make a sandwich; leave it on the table while I clean up Jack-sick; while I’m cleaning, Jack eats the sandwich.
I eat an apple and some chocolate, walk back to the car. Van is still stuck. Tow truck driver promises to get it out before I return with the children at 4. I have to reverse nearly a mile in deep snow before I can turn round. I hurt my neck.
I get the kids, come home, find tow truck at bottom of track.
"I got the van out but it's stuck again," he says. "But I've got a Landrover to tow it out."
I abandon car at bottom of drive, put key in post box for Obliging Husband to drive up later if he can the Focus this close to home, walk the full mile up the track with two freezing children. In places snow is up to Younger Son's waist. He is not happy, and neither am I.
Pass van and Landrover, both now stuck right in front of my house.
Swear at them a bit while my children laugh.
Realise that the bastard bloody rubbish van still hasn't collected the two weeks of rubbish that we have here.
Swear a bit more.
Cook for the kids, have no time to write my piece, watch the van and Landrover combo get stuck again on the track outside. Several times.
Jack the dog is sick on the long-pile cream bedroom carpet: copiously.
Obliging Husband arrives home in my car, having got past the van/Landrover combo. Says it's not been too bad a day really. But we've run out of ice so do I really want a gin?
You'd better believe it.