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black ice

February 2, 2011

Memo to self: do not book early morning trains in winter. This morning, happy to see that it hadn't snowed overnight, I set out for Poitiers at 7.00am but swerved to a terrifying halt - narrowly avoiding a ditch - just half a kilometre out of my village.

The problem was black ice. It had rained lightly on frozen ground, turning the main road to Poitiers into the proverbial skating rink.

Several other cars and a lorry in front of me had done the same thing, pulling over with their hazard lights on. And there we remained, waiting for a gritting lorry and/or daylight, shivering in the darkness by the roadside. There was no chance of catching my TGV and Eurostar to London, but nor was it safe to turn around.

Those cars that were battling on were travelling at 20km an hour - in France! - which gives you an idea of how bad it was.

I thought about abandoning the car and walking home but eventually the gendarmes arrived and indicated a safe place to turn 500km up the road.

I eventually crawled home in first gear to book new train tickets for this afternoon, by which time, hopefully, the roads will have been gritted. Or maybe not. In which case - oh dear! - I won't be able to make it back to London for (among other things) root canal treatment.

comments (5)

1. Posted by Angela on February 2, 2011 1:49 PM

I am glad you did not end up in the ditch Karen, and aso that you were not injured. What a nasty shock.
Hope you get back to the UK soon for your poor 'ole tooth.

2. Posted by gwenda on February 2, 2011 5:19 PM

I ended up in a ditch at the end of november in the snow and it is NOT something I would reccommend. still having physical repercussions. Don't forget to let us know how your friend gets on at health review in a week or so.

3. Posted by Vanessa@Luxuria on February 2, 2011 6:12 PM

I think I would prefer to be in the ditch rather than have root canal treatment. In fact I would rather walk back to the UK than have RC. I don't envy you, but wish you a safe journey back home.

4. Posted by mimi pompom on February 2, 2011 7:05 PM

thanks for that Vanessa - now I'm looking forward to it even more!

Well, at least I now know I should take advantage of the offer of sedation ....


5. Posted by markyj on February 3, 2011 12:27 AM

Blimey! I only left yesterday and all was fine. Hope you managed to get back here to Blighty in the end.

BTW a safe place to turn '500km up the road' - that is one hell of a long road, lol.

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