Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Friday, March 02, 2018
How Joules can turn a simple holiday into a Lord of the Rings style adventure...
After I posted yesterday's blog I caught the weather forecasts, and began to wonder if perhaps I ought to leave early after all. Unfortunately I couldn't get a signal on my phone anywhere on the property, so had to get Ken to ring the Millbrook taxi service from Bristol. They said the roads were hazardous and there was no way they'd go out, so that put paid to that for Wed. Jane (the apartment's owner) said she thought everything would be OK, and there shouldn't be a problem with me staying a night longer if need be. So I left it and watched a DVD after dinner...
When I got back to Prowl at 11 pm K&K were waiting on a call back from 111, as Kai had fallen ill and his temperature was over 39°, which is dangerously high. I gave what advice I could, and the dr who called back said to take painkillers and keep an eye on it, but it sounded like another of the viruses that are doing the rounds: he gave Kai his telephone number in case he wanted to check back or the symptoms changed.
With nothing I could do, I had to leave it at that for the night. But I slept really badly, woke at 4.30 and couldn't get back to sleep, and with the forecast getting worse and worse (and given that my food - and more importantly BP meds - would run out on Sat) I emailed Jane again...
She advised me to go see if there were any maintenance staff around, and ask them if the road down to the fort was accessible then let her know. I did so, and when I got back to the apartment her friend and Fort resident Sue was at the door. I explained my predicament, and she kindly rang a couple of the other local taxis for me, booking one for 10.30.
Which gave me 20 mins to get ready and tidy the apartment. Which I just managed - then couldn't find the key!
Cue 5 mins panic, which ended when I found I'd put it in my bag. [headdesk] With that sorted out, we headed off for the taxi, Sue showing me a handy short cut that meant we only had to climb a hundred yards up the hill to the turning circle rather than three hundred from the bottom.
Told the taxi driver I needed to get to the Plymouth coach station (there was a 12.35 Bristol coach that would get me back ahead of the storm) and thought getting the ferry from Torpoint then a bus would be the way to go. He did that thing with his face that tells you he wasn't at all sure about that - the road up from the Fort was icy in places and it was worse on the rest of the peninsula - and suggested getting the Cremyll ferry instead. Much shorter and faster trip, and he rang one of the other cars to meet me at the other side and drive me to the station.
So we did that - only the taxi wasn't there when I got off the ferry. And it was cold. I don't normally feel the cold that badly, but I had on two jumpers, my heavy bodywarmer, warm scarf and gloves and I was freezing. And I waited and waited, and didn't know the number to ring to see what the hold up was, and it got colder and colder. Then after 20 mins, when I was 2 mins from actually putting on the llama hat, a young lad asked me if things were OK. I explained I was waiting for a booked cab but it looked like it wasn't coming - whereupon he rang another company for me and booked a taxi (although they did say it would be a half an hour wait). At that point I decided anything would do. But the taxi arrived a couple of minutes later: the lad grinned and wished me well. So sweet! (Perhaps I reminded him of his grandma?)
The taxi driver was another grizzled older man whose daughter is a midwife at Southmead Hospital in Bristol! So we chatted as he drove me - to the railway station. Which, luckily, is only a few hundreds yards from the coach station. (He switched off his meter for the last bit of the drive, since he'd gone to the wrong place...)
The coach station is a bit bleak, with no obvious ticket office. I managed to find a National Express employee, who told me that all their services were cancelled until the weather cleared, but I could claim a refund on my return ticket. Which wasn't exactly a matter for concern right then.
There was a Falcon coach next to the empty and dark NatEx one, which said Bristol on it. I'd not heard of Falcon, but at this point I just wanted to get home. So I boarded, checked that yes it did go to Briz (stops in Bond St near the Megabus stop) and asked how much it was. The extremely grizzled older driver (is it a feature of South West drivers?) grinned widely...
Which is how I ended up travelling 122 miles for just £5.
Nice run too - very very good and careful drivers. Even coming over Haldon, which can be hair-raising even in good weather, was a doddle. There were llamas in a snow-covered field outside of Collumpton. I found there's a Butlins on Exmoor. And we successfully zoomed through the Danger of Death red alert zone that stretched right across our path. Ken was waiting for me when we arrived at the Bearpit, and we got a taxi home.
So that was a right performance! But I got here, and there's severe disruption and transport service cancellations everywhere in the UK tonight and for the next few days, so I'm very glad I persevered.
Kai is a bit better today, though sneezing and coughing badly. Tyjer didn't want to speak to me until I'd unpacked and given him a pouch of food. I do have some more pics - including one of the garden, which is covered with several inches of snow - but they'll have to wait til tomorrow. I kind of got used to having 7 - 8 hours sleep while I was away, so the bare 4 hours I managed last night, coupled with the stress of today and outracing the storm, means I'm knackered and heading to bed soon.
Despite the last 48 hours it was a fantastic break, and I feel very much better for it. My back and legs haven't hurt at all the whole time (GOT to get one of those mattresses...) And the amount of writing I got done?
One page of Poppy.
But hey, that's better than nowt!