Archive for May 6th, 2007

Total Terror

I’m about to undertake a journey I’ve been dreading for months now. I’m taking Cleo to Austria via Norway, in two steps.

In a couple of days I go to London to spend a few days getting her sorted out together with my mechanic, Peter, deal with paperwork, insurance, rescue service and so on. Then I drive from London to Newcastle (4 1/2-5 hours), take the ferry across to Stavanger (about 21 hours), and then there is the final stretch of driving from Stavanger to Ski. I think it will be the coastal route via Kristiansand as the Michelin route planner recommends that as the easier and faster route. 8 1/2 hours. Hopefully I’ll arrive near midnight on the 16th May.

I’m terrified. I did the Kristiansand-Ski trip on Molly years ago, but this feels much scarier. I have no idea why it’s so scary. It could be because we had such a bad start with Cleo when we attempted to get to Budleigh Salterton and she stalled five times before we even got out of London. I should, of course, have taken that as a hint that perhaps going on was not one of my brighter ideas, but at the time I was convinced that the best thing Kevin and I could do for ourselves was to press on in a not-quite-roadworthy car all the way there in order to cure us both of our fear of driving since we had our dreadful accident moving to London. I’m not sure it was the most sensible way of curing us.

Since that trip – which did end well, though not without stalling several more times coming back, we’ve had lots of other little problems with Cleo. The first time Peter saw her and assessed all the things she needed fixed he even suggested scrapping her and buying another which would cost us a lot less grievance. And money. But MG owners have never really been sensible people and telling me to scrap Cleo was like telling me to murder a puppy by slowly drowning it in acid. NOT AN OPTION.

So here I am. Trying to get ready for the dreaded journey, imagining getting stuck in a snow drift somewhere in the Norwegian wilderness in a car totally inadequate for the local driving conditions while the abominable snowman slowly advances on me, axe raised ready to strike, little me at his mercy, poor Cleo having succumbed to snow and ice and rust and… at least there’s nothing wrong with my imagination. And yes, I am Norwegian and know that the roads are NOT THAT BAD, that there shouldn’t be any snow to speak of and that the locals are perfectly civilized. Mostly. Even if what they say is totally incomprehensible to me. You don’t have to not speak Norwegian not to understand them. You qualify if you grew up in Bærum.


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