Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Snow Joke On The Return To Work

How pungent the cow dung and silage smelt this morning. The snow seems to heighten my senses and my nose was tingling with all the strong aromas being blown through the open bus doors on the cold air. It had been a 'seat of your pants' kind of morning. The roads were treacherous. A mixture of snow and frozen rain had fallen on top of black ice and the Flying Pig was sliding all over the place.

I drove like an old granny, as it was impossible to tell where the next icy bit would be. "Happy New Year" I said in cheerful mode to each child as they boarded the bus, only to receive a grunt in response. "Did Father Christmas bring you what you wanted?" Their faces darkened. One said: "No he did not! He forgot the iphone."

It was a rude awakening to drive buses after the Christmas break on such poor roads. The gritters had not been out so early as they had before Christmas. Maybe they were conserving salt. There had been a rumour that our beloved council had sent trucks up to our depot in the local town and had loaded up and carted our salt off to another area. That's not cricket. People are cross. We don't like having our much needed rock salt whipped in some sort of dawn raid.

"Drive more cautiously and carefully," a council official told someone when they complained.

We do. When the roads were as icy, it doesn't really matter how cautiously you drive. One of the school bus drivers was as white as a sheet as he told of his near tragedy when he turned the steering wheel to go left and the bus went straight on. All he could do was to take his foot off the accelerator and pray. He hit the curb and bounced back onto the road. It was a fortuitous event, because if he there hadn't been a curb there, he would have driven over the edge of a precipice.

There is a feeling of satisfaction when you get to the school car park. Relief and a sense of achievement mask the jittery fingers. Then it's all relaxed as you drive off for your rest period. That's the dangerous time. It was for me, anyway, because around the next corner, I met the Big Banana who was in a hurry. The yellow school bus was obviously late and trying to make up time. The driver yanked the steering wheel and pulled the Big Banana onto the right side of the road, narrowly missing the back end of my bus.

Oh well, it was a miss. No damage done. The weather forecast is hit or miss for the next few days, so I have a feeling some outlandish things may happen over the next few days.

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