Everyone who knows me well knows how much I LOVE snow. We’d been talking about snow at work, and how this winters weather forecast had mentioned lots of it. It brought back many snow memories, such fun times, and then there was one which was, well, something I look back on and laugh. But not back then at the time, oh no. I wasn’t laughing back then..
It was back in the day, I was about 21 or so: picture this..
It’s freezing cold and thick of snow first thing on a Monday morning in lovely Leeds, Yorkshire. Beloved Yorkshire the home of my family roots. Although it’s ice cold, the sun is shining, and as a lover of snow I’m top banana happy it’s so thick. Anyway, the gritters have been out, so although the roads are a bit tricky, they’re driveable. Sounds for a pretty wintery scene to drive in doesn’t it ?!
I’m ready for work in the bank; as I’d recently passed their exams to sell life insurance and regulated products, I was feeling good about myself. Bag ready, pre packed sarnie ready, got my gloves, boots, and off I go.
So my 1.4L blue Ford Escort hatchback is parked on the driveway in front of my Dads garage. I was leaving for work before Dad today, I always like to set off early, and still do to this day 🙂 I’ve scraped the ice off the car windows, placed everything on the passengers seat (no mobile phones back then lol lol), heatings on full blast, I’m freezing, and I’ve reversed to part way down the driveway. Cars being cars back then, and me thinking I knew everything about cars, but actually being not so clued up, I didn’t think that the hot air inside the car might make the windows freeze up again so quickly…. but oh yes they had already fogged and frozen so badly that I couldn’t see through them. Oh sugar I’d have to get out again and sort the windows out. No problem, it won’t take me long.. Or so I thought.
Ok. So, I got out the car, left the engine running to keep the warm air ready for when I got back in. I do like it cosy, even now, I like it warm and Mr G likes it cooler, and cars nowadays you can control your own respective sides. Back then, back in the day, it was all or nothing lol lol. I made a better job of clearing the windows this time, waved at my parents who were at the front window and was good to go.
Or so I thought.
I tried to open the car door. No such luck. Unbeknown to me, when I’d got out the car, before closing the door I had knocked the knob down on the door, which meant as the door closed, it locked. The car was locked. Locked ?! The car was locked, the keys were in the ignition with the engine still running, and the heating was still on FULL blast. O M G.
Get your spare keys I hear you say. But oh no, I had no spare set of keys. No spare keys. My heart sank. I looked back at the living room window to see my parents still looking out. My Dad definitely wasn’t smiling anymore, he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.. Mum had a face that said what’s the problem. My face looked a mixture of being cross, cheesed off, worried, upset and stressed all in one.
OMG what could I do now. Of course I had signed up ages ago with the AA, so a quick call to them would suffice. Or so I thought. First I had to go inside and explain to Dad. He took the news with about as much joy as you can imagine. Add into this, the fact that it had been the coldest thickest snowfall we’d had for ages, and as such one of the busiest times the AA had ever experienced with call outs. ‘Yes Miss of course we can come out. At the moment we have a backlog and are prioritising, so at present the estimated time we could be with you is in about 90 minutes’. NINETY MINUTES ?!
I was on the phone in the living room, my parents sat with faces looking like they were sucking lemons. I think you can guess my Dads reaction. You see, let me explain a bit more. My car was towards the end of the driveway. Our driveway was high up on a level raised separately to next doors. In other words, unless I moved my car, my Dad wasn’t getting his car out anytime soon either. He would be late for work too. His face was a picture.
Ok. Next to phone my boss, only don’t forget there are no mobile phones yet, so I have to call the works phone and they won’t be there yet. No way of me letting them know I would be late until it was almost opening time. I was going to be ‘Very late’ .. Colleagues would all still be travelling to work at present. Dad phoned his work and they were ok, I’m sure I heard them all have a giggle at the other end of the phone when my Dad explained what I had done ..
Back outside, I looked inside the car as best I could through the steamy windows. The pre packed sarnie packet looked like it was swelling up, it looked like it would be ready to explode with egg n cress splattering everywhere in the car. If it was much longer waiting for the AA it would. Then I realised I only had a small amount of petrol in there .. that would be slowly dwindling as the engine was still running.. Oh the joys of owning your own car as a young adult never seemed to run smooth for me. You should of seen me in the car before this one. Let’s just say it had it’s own in built air conditioning system by way of a huge hole under the car mat under the pedals..
I thought, at this rate I would be better setting off to work on my sledge; a favourite pastime of mine in the snow in my younger days – I was good at it too. Think of the scene in one of my favourite Christmas films ‘National Lampoons Christmas Vacation’ with Chevy Chase on a tin lid speed sledging down a hill – that was me 🙂
Whilst waiting neighbours were walking past waving at my Mum in the window pointing at my car with inquisitive looks saying ‘You know the engines left running on your daughters car?!’ My Mum to my Dad was like ‘Just nod and smile sweetly at them love, look busy!’. I had brought embarrassment to the street 😉 oh the shame lol lol.
Eventually the AA arrived. 3 HOURS it took them. Three whole hours. You see I wasn’t technically stranded I was safe at home so not a priority call out. When the guy arrived, within seconds he opened my car door. Job done. He tried so hard not to laugh but I could see his face. I never forget I thought I bet he goes back to his colleagues later and tells them all about it.
It was all just in time before the sarnie packet exploded. Warm egg n cress sarnies. The packet looked ready to literally burst. Not a nice thought, so they went in the bin, I called work and explained I was now on my way. I will never forget their faces when I arrived, they looked at me like I had made the whole sorry story up, but it was totally true, every word of it. The Manager wasn’t impressed she was convinced I had made it all up.
That was to be the first encounter with things going wrong with me in this car. But that’s a story for another time ….
The moral of this true story; where do I start, I think there’s a few. Needless to say I have a real good laugh about it now, hope you do too.