If you were driving north along the M6 around 6:00pm this evening, you may have seen a crappy Peugeot 206 stranded in the hard shoulder around junction 21.
Yes, that was me. Ugh. I wrote the following on my phone whilst waiting for the breakdown recovery guys to save me:
Well, I’m currently writing this whilst sat in the hard shoulder of the M6 to Liverpool. Yes. My knackered old car, despite having a brand new radiator and a full (ie. expensive) service a couple of weeks ago, has just overheated and yelled STOP at me.
So here I am. In the hard shoulder of the M6. Of course, the whole situation immediately caused my bladder to transform into a frickin’ thimble so that all I can think about now is how much I need a wee. I didn’t even need it that much before, but now I’m contemplating pissing in the glove compartment. Or at least something that’s easier to aim at.
At first, I was going to just let it cool down and then head off on my merry way. But then panic kicked in, and I worried that I’d end up breaking my car even further. So I decided to be a proper grown-up and do the sensible thing, and I rang the recovery people.
55 minutes?! I mean, sure it was rush hour, but come on! So, here I am, doomed to be stared at by passers by, wondering whether there’s been an accident or not.
That’s all I managed to get out, until a Highway Maintenance van turned up behind me. My first ever run-in with ‘the authorities’. I was nervous.
“Um. Hi,” I managed to squeak out, followed by a nervous “I broke down” and then a reassuring “but the recovery people are coming!”
The officer smiled, as if he had seen my type before. “Aah, right. Do you know who it is who is coming to assist you?”
My mind went totally blank. “Um. It begins with an E… I think I got a text with the name…”
“Yes! That’s them!” I felt like such a girl. I mean, I am a girl, but I felt about five years old.
“Okay, did they say how long they’d be until they get to you?”
“About 55 minutes.”
“Really?! They usually give priority to single women drivers…”
I shrugged. “Um…”
“Well, love, did they tell you about the safety precautions?”
My eyes glazed over. “Um…”
“Okay, well we recommend that you stand behind the barrier, just in case there’s an accident. I’d recommend standing over there, between those two pillars.” He pointed to a shady bit of concrete underneath the huge bridge.
“Thank you!” I smiled sweetly, and he nodded at me.
“Take care, love,” he said cheerfully.
“Thank you!” I repeated. When he drove off, he gave me a little wave and I waved back.
Being stood at the side of the motorway seems to bring a bit of attention. I mean, it might have been my amazing good looks and radiant beauty that was drawing the attention, although now I think about it, it was probably the huge dent in the driver door from a previous outing (involving Chris, a roundabout, and a knobhead pulling into the side of him) that sparked their interest in me and made them slow down and stare at me. I assume they were looking to see if it had been a crash.
Anyway, after a certain amount of time (I have no idea how long it took in the end), Egertons Recovery service arrived, I assume from the Wigan depot. The guy was very nice and he tried to see what the problem was. He reckoned that it was the cooling fan, because the coolant level and shiny new radiator looked fine. He fiddled with a wire and did something to the fan to make something else happen to the temperature gauge (yes, my knowledge of engineering and mechanical terminology is astounding…) and somehow it stopped being so hot. But, he said that it’s just a temporary fix and that the fan needs looking at. He followed me to my destination (which was 6 miles away) to make sure I didn’t break down again (I didn’t) and then he gave me the necessary paperwork and went on his merry way.
The destination, by the way, is Liverpool. I’m up here filming an interview with a lovely lady called Debbie for the Coloplast channel tomorrow morning, which should be fun!
Anyway, I’m absolutely knackered, so I’m going to get into my pyjamas, get a cup of tea, and watch some Netflix before bed!
EDIT: Okay, my geography is terrible. I’m not in Liverpool at all, I’m in Wigan. Oh shush. I just followed my SatNav and it told me which way to go. That’s how I roll.