Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cold days remembered #1

I remember one January when Iris and I were returning from a club venue in Rotherham that the windscreen shattered. It was around midnight, freezing cold and we were about twenty miles away from home! There was nothing for it but to knock out the shattered glass in order that I could see to drive. I had the heater on full blast but it was fighting a losing battle with the inclement weather conditions. Halfway back home, it started to snow; that was all we needed! I had to keep stopping to clean my specs and Iris was turning into a snowman before my very eyes. She was wearing a fur coat and the snow was plastering itself on it. Eventually we reached home and we tumbled out of the car into the house.
I have explained before that the house was an old one with a coal fire in the living room. Fortunately, there were a few embers still glowing and a shovelful of coal soon had it burning up again. I don’t care what anybody says; even the sight of a cheerful blazing fire makes you feel a damned sight warmer than any amount of central heating!
Iris did what all women do in these circumstances; she put the kettle on and made a cup of tea. God! I think that it was the warmest, tastiest, most welcome cuppa I ever had in my life! Iris was quick to dash upstairs and switch on the electric blanket. We were both soaked to the skin and we huddled round the fire in dressing gowns to get warm again. Wet clothing was draped on a clothes-horse and the steam was soon rising from them. I wonder how many people use those things these days?
Although we were soon snug in bed for the night, the next morning found me clearing snow from my car seats and taking it to have a new windscreen fitted. I drove to work later that day sitting on a plastic cover and immediately left the car in a corner of a workshop to be dried out using an industrial heater/blower.
Funnily enough, in all the years I have been driving, I have only had a windscreen shatter three times. Once as I have just described, once when some lefty yobbo threw a brick through it and once after a road had been recently repaired.

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