Thursday was spent cleaning and tidying R0X1 and Friday victualling and fuelling.
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and after a certain amount of faffing around, unhooking took place and Daisy and I were off. Roads weren’t too bad, Tom had agreed with me that M40, M6 was the way to go and we were due at Gailey around 13.30hrs to meet up with BB who was already moored up there. We’re spending 2 nights here by the “cut” before we go to the Hills.
I noticed that there was an expected delay of 3 minutes around junction 9 M40, not a problem I’m never in a rush and don’t drive much over 60mph these days, I’ve become such an old fart. The weather had now deteriorated to more than a little damp and had I looked a little more closely at Tom I might have noticed the rather ominous symbol … yeah you know the one … the road closed symbol. Too late; I’d gone blissfully sailing past junction 8 and it then took 4½ hours to get the 5 miles to junction 9 where we all left the m’way to make our own various diversions to rejoin at junction 10. During this time I saw 2 car fires on the hard shoulder, 3 breakdowns, 1 minor shunt and a blues and twos ambulance with police escort trying to get through the stationary traffic.
Apparently an incident involving over 30 cars on the northbound carriageway occurred in fog at 7a.m. and the mess was still being cleared. During one of quite a few engine off times, bored, I phoned K, I’d already heard on the radio that a fatal incident had happened on the M1 northbound at a similar latitude and time to the M40 crash, she now informed me that there had been a landslip on the railway and trains heading north had also been cancelled; not a good day to be travelling in that direction.
Only a tiny rant I promise …
People stopping briefly on the hard shoulder to empty bladders is totally understandable and acceptable, especially when kids are involved, BUT the effing idiots who were overtaking by travelling along the hard shoulder with their hazard lights flashing because they thought they were too important to be tailbacked with the rest of us really got my goat. I remonstrated with one chap whose excuse was he was running out of petrol – that’s a good reason to endanger everyone else’s lives and break the law? And as for the 2 lads who got out of the car they were being driven in to walk along the hard shoulder and have a smoke – they deserved a Darwin award.
… end of.
I stopped at the services at junction 10 for a bit of exercise for poor Daisy who couldn’t understand why she was harnessed up for so long; by this time it was 16.30 and I was ready for lunch so I had sandwich and a cuppa at Greggs bakers (reasonable price as the shop is separate from the main concourse).
Under way again we then endured a rolling stop further up the 40 whilst, according to the signs, debris was removed from the carriageway and being close to the front, I noticed the highways agency chappie collecting what looked to be a pink snow shovel from the middle lane! I hope that doesn’t mean someone saw snow forecast for next week as I have no snow shovel let alone a pink one …
By now I was wishing that R0X1 was automatic transmission as my right leg was very tired so instead of going for the M6 I went for the Troll Road. Just to be on a virtually empty road was worth every penny of the £9.60, even if it did mean I had to get out of the cab to put my card in the pay machine.
The rest of the trip was blessedly uneventful. I hope that the week to follow is the same.
🙂 🙂 🙂