Monday, 28 October 2013

The 1987 crash and life on the motorway

1976 Opel Kadett - 1987 Crash Version
When I was 19 years old I crashed my first car quite seriously. It was the year's first snow storm - in April - and I was driving from Copenhagen to my home in Vordingborg, about 80 miles, late that evening. This was before the motorway was extended between Rønnede and Udby, and on this particular stretch on the way the snow was wooshing across the road (which wasn't even a dual carriageway but just a plain small-size A-road). I was tired and to keep myself awake I had windows down and was smoking heaps of cigarettes - yup, I used to do that yonks ago...

Really cold it was! So windows closed again. I must have just blinked very very slowly becuase at that moment my car went over the edge of the road, onto the frozen field and took a few rolls before landing on the side - me inside.

I was lucky and I count my blessings every day.

I got myself unstrapped from the seat and climbed out of the window which was now above my head - in heals and very tight skirt, those were the days of those outfits...

When I got onto the road there were very few cars and a few that passed me as I was waving my arms vigorously, finally someone stopped. Those were the days before mobile phones and before dodgy drivers taking advantage of stranded people on the highway. A nice angel who drove me home and everything got sorted, a nice person who along with my universal protectors got me home safely.

Nice people exist - and there are plenty of them when you expect nice!

For many years I had an ingrained concern about long drives and being tired on the road. I still have ever so much respect for the hours we spend on the road because if heads are not clear... Well, split seconds happen in moments of weariness.

However, years later I realised that if I wanted to go places, I just had to deal with it and get going.

So, I started venturing out on day breaks where I would drive for hours and hours in order to beat my fear of driving lenghthy stretches on my own.

The great thing about cars is that they pretty much do what you tell them to do... This is also the case if you want a break then it will in fact drive the way you turn the wheel, e.g. into a resting area or so.

Cool stuff, eh?

I went to Glastonbury, Bamburgh Castle, Manchester, other places, and most importantly to the North-East Coach where I now drive almost every weekend.

These days, every week I spend between 8-10 hours driving to Co. Durham and do you know what? It is kinda recreational in a strange way.

Some would say it's a waste of time, and I guess you could argue that it is but on the flipside, I get to spend those hours in the company of Thomas, Sanne, Gabrielle, Heather, Kim and my love songs, and although they have been in the car for a long time - isn't it just great to spend time singing along to familiar tunes, knowing the lyrics, and enjoying the trip? Yup, I think so, too and best of it all - it leads to love!

The most important thing, though, is that no matter how many miles and hours we spend on the road, there really is no need to rush and there is always time to take a break! I've had a few close ones over the years and I am thankful they were only close. Being respectful of other drivers, the weather and road conditions is key to living many moments on the motorway - whether it is in the fast lane or the granny lane.

Take a break!
Break away from the rush!

As for the miles...
Never underestimate the power of love!

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