Part 1: It's Snowing!
Imagine our surprise as we woke up this morning to find our lawn and the streets carpeted in pure, white snow. It had been a year since it last snowed and YEARS since snow had actually settled like today - reaching 15 centimetres thick according to the BBC.
As for me, my colleagues have given me early warning of the snow, and I woke up extra early to prepare. By "prepare" I mean taking appropriate measures to make sure the car is road worthy in the snow, have an early breakfast and if necessary, set off early to work so that I could reach in time.
Everything went according to plan, thanks especially to Puan Mama Sarah who helped tremendously in prepping the car. At the same time I was also busy - busy taking pictures that is! An opportunity such as this comes but once a year and I was sure to make the most of it:
Unfortunately, I was quite pressed for time and I couldn't really concentrate. I was also extremely concerned that the wet snow would damage my expensive lens and camera. In the end, my pictures are what I would call "cincai" (the nearest translation to English I could think of would be "random"). I soon set off to work.
Part 2: The Scare
Now, driving in snow is one whole matter in itself. It's scary to say the least. In heavy snowy weather such as today the roads could be extremely slippery, the visibility poor, the roads congested and the car temperamental.
Speaking of temperamental cars, I had the scare of my life today. As some of you know, I drive 1 hour on the motorway everyday to get to work. On the dual carriage way, just two junctions away to the hospital, my car suddenly acted strange - it was putting out high revs but paradoxically was loosing power. After around 5 such occasions the car suddenly completely lost power and stopped! Thank goodness for the laws of physics - momentum propelled the car forwards and allowed me to bank the car as far as I could to the left. Unfortunately for me, there was no hard shoulder (meaning = no safety zone to park the car in case of an emergency) and the car stopped right in the middle of the carriage way!
Despite putting hazard lights, lorries honked away angrily while cars zoomed past at around 100 KMH. The visibility was quite poor and I was scared that a lorry might not see the parked car and just ram through. I immediately called the police.
I was half-way through talking to the operators when I saw a 4 wheel drive vehicle stopping nearby with 2 police officers. I felt so relieved!! After brief introductions the police officers towed my car away.
Alhamdulillah, that in the midst of such adversity there was a hint of mercy: my car broke down not 5 minutes away from a service area complete with a fueling station, Macdonalds, Costa Coffee and a shop!
I heartily thanked the two police officers who helped me at a time of need, and began my wait with a warm cup of coffee and a mood-soothing breakfast of Egg Mcmuffin and hash browns *big smile*.
60 minutes later, rescue arrived in the form of a van with the initials RAC (the breakdown cover specialists). It took the mechanic only 1 minute to diagnose the problem and only 5 minutes to repair the car.
It turns out that the garage I asked to repair my car over the weekend, a repair that costed me GBP 300 pounds (!), FORGOT TO SCREW BACK THE CAP TO THE GEAR OIL TANK. The car stopped because the tank was completely empty and a quick top up of oil later , the car was again good to go. The garage is certainly going to hear from me this weekend .... *snarl*.
I arrived at work at around 10:30 am to a sympathetic and understanding team (thank you!)
Part 3: Meanwhile ....
... the kids at home are enjoying their day playing in the snow - making snowmen, snowballs and rolling around: Puan Mama Sarah's account of the day could be found on her blog.
Part 4: Conclusion
At the end of the day I am both horrified and excited with the events today. I have a lot to be grateful for - that my life has been spared, that my car broke down so close to a service area, that the police's help came so efficiently, and that the problem with the car was relatively minor. The experience today left me charged and fired up at work (like a squirrel on sugar and caffeine). At the same time, I am AWFULLY annoyed that the garage effed up my car.
Anyhow, the journey home went smoothly and was devoid of any excitement/horrors. The events today has made me forgot that the landscape around Coventry was beautifully transformed by the snow. Please take a look at sights around our house in the snow: (most taken in low light as when I reached home from work it was already dark)
Thank you for reading.