I am getting close to being over winter. There have been precious few crisp, frosty days which make everything look magical, and far too many dreich and windy ones which have kept us house-bound and fractious. The kids are tough, I don’t doubt they’d be out rain or hail, “jumping up and down in muddy puddles”* but I’m still adjusting to country life (I like to tell myself) and schlepping about in mud and leaves, in the pissing rain isn’t my thing yet. Or ever. Mud is the enemy. I’ve managed to get the car stuck in it three times this winter, in various locations around the estate. I was humiliated enough the first time as I made the call of shame to my husband who, after much piss-taking, got me out with the help of a couple of strong blokes he’d commandeered for added mortification.
The second time was marginally worse, compounded by the added obstacle of a large rock which was effectively pivoting the car. I really don’t think you could plan a manoeuvre like that. If I hadn’t been crying with shame, I’d have been rather pleased. Needless to say Niall and the same two strong blokes were crying with laughter.
After the third incident I briefly contemplated fleeing the country(side) and changing identity rather than admit I’d got myself into another muddy mess. I really don’t know how it happened. One minute I was driving merrily up a dirt track, en route to deliver a Christmas card, the girls fighting happily in the back, then the next minute the car is aquaplaning across a river of mud, leaving us stranded in a squelchy field. Again.
My husband hinted that there might be something in my Christmas stocking which would prevent future muddy mishaps so naturally I started daydreaming about a brand new 4×4 purple range rover with a sound-proof seat divider** and built-in rear-seat automatic snack dispenser**. Picture my feigned delight when I unwrapped a fetching pair of bright orange wheel grip traction mats.
Is that Spring I can sniff or have I misjudged the Ariel™ again?
*©the worst kids programme ever commissioned
**seriously though, can this be invented NOW please?