Thursday, 18 November 2010

Heavy Frost, Silent Night And The Crashed Chocolate Wagon

It's 4am and all is white.

That's a bad sign, particularly when you are in a bus. It means the council have not gritted the roads. The roads were glistening like a paparazzi photo shoot. The bus wheels were flitting across the road in more concerning and aggressive movements. It is a eerie sensation when you hit black ice in a bus. Everything tends to go silent. All you can do is grip the steering wheel and wait for the crash.

This morning there was no crash. I drove slowly. "Like an old granny," as one bus driver likes to tell me. At the first sign of a slide, I was ready aim for the verge to try and get some grip. The further down the hill, the more the frost eased up, until everything became green again.

At the bottom of the hill, when the danger had passed, Chris Evans announced, belatedly and unhelpfully over the radio, that he had got up this morning and had to scrape his car windows. I thought, you're lucky, mate. Try scraping your windows at 4am in the North of England. He would never had made it to the studio on time.

I picked up a school in Yorkshire, who were a noisy lot of children. "They're not nasty or malicious or anything, just silly," said the teacher. When the bus started rocking up the A1 to three songs being sung at the same time, I had to agree. It is difficult to switch off when behind you there are tone deaf children singing 'The Wheels On The Bus', 'Silent Night' and 'We Will Rock You' in painful caterwauling manner.

This continued for a longer time than anticipated, because of an accident on the motorway which delayed us for an hour and a half. A chocolate delivery truck had crashed into another truck. By the time we reached the accident, the chocolate wagon was being towed away.

"Aw nooo," said a visibly agitated child. "There will be a shortage of chocolate this Christmas. What shall we do?"

No comment, I thought.

Bah. Humbug.

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