Facing the Beast from the East..

Woke up with a Headache, it was the journey ahead,

I was NOT looking forward to it, it was filling me with DREAD!

The forecast was snow, and heavy at that;


Nearly six hours of road, in a ten year old car,

It surely wouldn’t cope, it’s WAY TOO FAR!

But I had NO CHOICE, the deed was done,

Time off work, I had nowhere to run.

Five thirty we left, the roads were fine

I took a deep breath, ’This journey’s MINE..!’

Carys had her laptop, in a world of her own,

Sat up front, nerves of STEEL were shown.

Through ‘A’ roads we went, only a dusting of snow,

Traffic was heavy, at times moving slow.

M6 we joined, with a feeling of relief,

These roads will be good, surely bad bits would be brief.

Then into a blizzard, it came on FAST,

GRIPPING steering wheel TIGHT, windscreen got a water blast!

A few miles further, and the blizzard had gone,

Back to black roads, we could safely carry on.

But as the journey continued, white roads we saw more,

Lulled into a false sense of security, visibility was INCREASINGLY POOR.

Across the Pennines we continued, snow was HORIZONTAL by now

Felt as if we weren’t moving, had to check out the side window!

My grip was getting tighter, as snow lay thick on the road;

Lorries had NO HEED for cars, I wanted another transport mode!!

Reluctantly we made a pit stop, no time would ever be good,

I wanted to carry on moving, thankfully Carys understood…

A frequent countdown of timings, helped to focus as conditions got worse,

Every hour that was knocked off the journey, made me feel that little less terse.

An essential part of the trip, on traffic was being kept up to date,

My hubby at the end of the phone: for news, he was my key mate!

All around us was darkness, limited lighting not helping AT ALL,

Carys still watching her laptop, occasionally asleep she’d fall;

Little did I know, that MUCH worse we were yet to see;

But as we left the M74 behind, all I saw was clear road…YIPPEE!

My heart soared higher, looking at this black road ahead,

Cats eyes shone brightly – not long until a nice warm bed!

Excitedly I got Carys to call our friends, 3o minutes behind,

’This ‘ A’ route is MUCH BETTER than M74 you’ll find!’

As soon as the update was given, it must have been a CURSE!

Conditions changed dramatically, and the road got HORRENDOUSLY worse…

Everyone else must have realised, how bad this road would be;

For it was largely deserted, except for a couple of vehicles…. And ME!

Snow was coming down thick again, wide road on either side,

But ice was hidden underneath, and my car did nothing but slide.

My knuckles were WHITE, focussed on keeping control;

My tongue getting drier, intent on avoiding a car roll.

Carys was still in that world of her own, looking up now and then,

You’re doing OKAY, don’t worry at all!’, before head bowed down again.

GREAT! I thought, the PRESSURE’s ON ME, to get us there safe and sound;

My heart in my mouth, my grip still tight, a new DETERMINATION I found…

After driving ALL THIS WAY and all these hours, come hell or high water,

I’ll get to Edinburgh – swimming – for MY DAUGHTER!

But as a heavy, industrial vehicle approached, and my car did ANOTHER slide,

I prayed hard and focussed to stay on course, refusing to just go and hide!

I then kept looking in my mirror, consciously driving slow,

Hoping my friends would catch us up, giving comfort of someone I know;

Unsurprisingly they did! I was doing no more than 20 miles an hour!

The roads were getting bendy and steep, but I needed to regain my OWN power..

Spurred on by their appearance, helped give the last of our journey a BOOST,

Surpassing the fear I had previously, steadfast calmness had now been let loose.

At the sight of every bend and hill, my focus didn’t waiver;

A consistent pace and in control – each one nailed, I’d savour.

Those last twenty miles were horrendous, much worse than the previous three seventy

But with sheer determination and will, I was proud I’d had guts a plenty!

The outskirts of Edinburgh arrived, with roads showing a tiny smear of black,

SOOO CHUFFED I’d actually made it, for there would have been NO Turning back!

While parking is another tale (!) taking over an hour at least,

I’m very proud that we survived, facing the Beast from the East!

My sleep was VERY restless that night, EXHAUSTED more than I knew,

Seven plus hours of driving… But all safe and sound ….PHEW!!


This horrendous journey was for my daughter’s first British Champs…