Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Driving With Eyes Wide Shut

One of the things I worried about in planning this trip was driving on the "wrong" side of the road.  At home I'm usually the driver, given my need for control and Gene's disinclination to be nagged at when behind the wheel.  All well and good, we're both happy.

When we travel by car however I am the navigator and so, by default, Gene is the driver.  This is fixed in stone; he does not navigate. Usually this works, but I had qualms about driving in England.   "No problem" he said.  "Don't worry, " he said. Guess how this plan turned out.

What seemed to be a relatively easy and relatively direct route from Bath to the Cotswolds was in fact a long hair-raising test of the strength of our marriage.  Would I really be willing to die rather than shriek at him "get over to the left!" once more? No, gentle reader, I would not.  The inadvertent turn from a narrow two-lane road onto the M4 motorway heading in the wrong direction didn't help the mood at all.  You can't get off the frigging M4 for many, many miles.

We did meet several Brits to whom I will be forever grateful though.  The village cafe owner who let us use the loo, gave us a coffee and sat with us to make sure I wrote down the right directions was a sweetie.  And the farmer who climbed off his tractor as I was snooping around the rudimentary farm shop in the middle of nowhere who let me use his loo in the next emergency.  Yes, there's a theme here: I'm never taking that pill again if I'm more than 10 feet from the facilities!

So we've visited 2 villages so far, neither of which we would come back to see again.  We're saving the "best" villages for tomorrow in the hope we'll be in a better mood if we only need to drive 10 miles to see them, after a good breakfast.  And after that, maybe Blenheim Castle.  Or alternatively, straight to Oxford and get rid of the damned car.  We'll see.

Remember, pictures are at


Anonymous said...

Ah, to once again luxuriate in the dulcet tone of your literary voice after an enforced eighteen month hiatus. Travel safely.


Susan said...

So, Shelli, you can't get your photos on blogger, and I can't get comments on here goes -- We saw the same stilettos at Versailles in 2012. They get around!

And you are confirming our decision not to rent a car in England. We actually hired a car and driver to give us the tour from London to Bath, which cost a bit more than the car rental but saved the marriage! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

This one made me laugh out loud. Glad to hear you and your marriage survived. Next time bring your favorite italian driver. Xo. RRR