THE worst part of attending a funeral last Friday wasn’t the grief, but the travel involved.
It took four and a half hours to get to Newcastle, driving in thick fog, and a ridiculous six hours to get back, thanks to rush hour traffic and several ‘phantom’ jams (where there appears to be no physical reason for the hold-up, like an accident or roadworks).
Considering they were cooped up for such a long time, the kids stayed remarkably sane. “There’s no point shouting at the other drivers Mum, they can’t hear you,” muttered eldest son as I ranted endlessly about the idiot drivers without lights on in pea-soup conditions.
We only had to stop once each way for loo breaks and cake bribes, and Bonnie was persuaded to regress a few months back into a pull-up nappy in case of accidents. We got home, exhausted, at around 10pm. Ever since I’ve felt I need a hip and knee transplant due to the dodgy Corsa driving position.
We had decided not to stay over in Newcastle because Bloke is still working away and was only coming home for the weekend. He was due to fly from Belfast to Birmingham, and a train home should have seen him back by 7pm.
That was before the transplant plane crash at Birmingham which closed the runways.
After getting the only flight available, to Gatwick, getting a train into London, another to Northampton, and a cab, he was home just before 11pm.
Which of course meant he had absolutely no sympathy for my own epic journey. Bloody typical.