Life in the fast lane (or, road-rage, country-style)

Poor maintenance?  Terrible weather?  Bad driving?

I swear, the potholes lying in wait for us on the local roads are worse than ever this year.

I had set off for work a bit late.  The children had a school trip, and it was pouring with rain, and by the time I had found their wet gear, found their warm gear, and made the packed lunches, I was running behind for morning surgery.

So I was driving faster than usual along the narrow country lane I negotiate every day, the lane whose every rut and crater I thought I knew.  When I bumped through a brand new rain-filled pothole smack in the middle of the road – it was big, and it was deep – the car made a sufficiently unpleasant sound, and started handling so strangely, that I stopped, got out, and checked.

‘Oh blast,’ I thought, as I saw the completely flat front tyre.

‘Oh bloody hell,’ I thought, as I saw the totally flat back tyre.  One wheel I am happy enough to change but two, well who carries two spare wheels?

I phoned work to let them know I would be late and was informed that the first couple of appointments could likely be shifted later but after that I was fully booked.

I phoned husband Rob who was incredulous that I had damaged two tyres, and incandescent at the thought of having to sort it all out, as the soil association inspector was about to arrive for the annual audit.

I phoned the lovely in-laws who were able to come to my rescue, swap my car for one of theirs and stay to clear up the mess. ‘Just don’t go through water in this one – it conks out when damp.’  A tall order, since all the potholes were brimming and it was still raining…

The tyres were only two weeks old and both needed replacing.  In the height of my indignation I googled pothole websites, and plotted a compensation claim against the council.

What I learnt:

  • potholes cost the British motorist an estimated £320million a year.
  • I was lucky not to have broken the axle or suspension.
  • I was lucky not to end up in the hedge.

Once I’d cooled off I realised I was not entirely innocent and decided to take it all as a timely reminder to slow down.  Most of us should cut our speed especially on country roads.  There could be a horse around the corner, cows crossing, my children on bikes, or just another bad driver coming at me fast in the other direction.

So no legal action ensued and the council is free to spend its money (our money) on getting our household recycling up and running – exciting news on this front next week.



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