Driving (or riding!) in England is scary

My last European adventure began with my director renting a car in Heathrow and me navigating us South to Arundel castle which a coworker had recommended that none of us had ever heard of.  I was especially excited because the day we were going to be there was a smugglers and pirates festival.

We hit the road and my director did a nice job staying on the correct side of the road, then after driving for about an hour, we decided we were hungry and thought it would be cool to pull off at a random exit that had an interesting sign advertising a chateau or something.  Once off the highway, the roads narrowed down to a two way, spindly, twisty paving barely the width of 1.5 American sized lanes with no shoulder.  The tree archways that seemed incredibly charming when the taxi driver had taken me through them a few years ago now seemed like a cruel joke with my director behind the wheel.  You know that scene from Planes Trains and Automobiles where John Candy ends up on the wrong side of the road and drives in between two semi’s – Steve Martin hallucinating that John Candy is Satan?  Yeah, that’s what it felt like to me as Chandra was yelling at oncoming traffic, “These idiots don’t know what they’re doing! Why don’t they stay on their own side of the road!” and meanwhile driving hazardously close to the shoulder free side of the road.  I valiantly tried to restrain myself to saying “Chandra, you’re too close to the edge!” to once every 5 minutes, but probably averaged every 30 seconds.

Now, please realize I am in no way saying that I could have done a better job.  I have never been brave enough to even contemplate renting a car until Chandra said that she was thinking about it.  I’m quite certain I would have done a worse job both in driving and in keeping my nerves and yelling in check.

Chandra kept barking that she was fine.  I kept hearing the tires kicking up the crud on the edge of the road and the brush scraping on the side of the car and clenched my jaw and my butt cheeks.  (I think between this drive and the driving in Ireland, both sets of my cheeks are still sore from extended clenching!)  Not long after she did a jarring curb check, we found a pub and promptly stopped to let our nerves relax and enjoyed a lovely Sunday roast with roasted potatoes and Yorkshire pudding and a nice hard cider for me (none for the driver!).

We got back on the road feeling much better especially knowing that we were close to our destination and that we could take highways to get there!

It was only when we reached our destination that we noticed that the mirror was now broken and the paint was actually scraped off the handle of the car door!!


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About Me

Hi, I'm Christina. I love travel, cats, gardens, house sitting, birds, painting, dogs, museums, good food & drink, you know - all the good stuff! I've been working on my first memoir, Magicians, Cross Dressers and My Uterus while living my second!

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