OK. This was going to be a FB post but it turned out a bit too long, so it had to become an interim blog. So. Hope you have already eaten. We were on a pleasant, if rather long drawn-out journey North to see friends and family for a few days. Hot day, long queues, whatever….so we were delighted when we got to the M6 Toll road and enjoyed a few precious miles of jam-free driving. We had just pulled through the toll booth and were right next to a massive articulated truck, both heading for those white lines where the lanes start again, when a crow flew down onto the road right between us to get something off the road. At just a few feet away I knew we couldn’t avoid hitting it. Sure enough it realised its mistake too late and flew up straight into the grill on the front of the car. There was a huge BANG. There was no way we could stop at that point, and as there were no other noises like bits falling off the car, we drove on to our destination. I was tired by that time and had completely forgotten about the crow, but Stephen remembered and went round to check the front of the car. Euuuuw. We had hoped that the bird had been hit and just fallen onto the road behind us, but this isn’t something you can check on a motorway. Oh no. But we weren’t quite prepared for the sight that faced us. The gills of the front grill had been forced apart and had closed again around the bird – only a wing and a claw were sticking out. Horrible. But by this time it was really late and we knew we needed to wait until the next day to make a decision. Besides, good friends, a curry and a fair amount of wine were beckoning and the bird was obviously long gone from this world.
We had a busy schedule of family commitments that day, so we had to get started early. We decided to call the breakdown service as the front of the car was a sealed unit and there was no way that just Stephen (leave me out of this!!) would be able to pull the bird out again. I spent some minutes on the phone to the breakdown service and to do him credit the guy on the other end was brilliant. He was rendered speechless at first and laughed that he had no idea how to phrase this on the computer. If he made it sound like an accident – which it so nearly was – the breakdown truck wouldn’t come out and we would have to go through our insurance company, so he decided to ask the mechanic to check that the car was undamaged after being hit by a crow. Which was still lodged behind the grill. I think we made his day. The breakdown truck arrived and the driver – Tony – got out of his cab with a look of disbelief on his face. I explained what had happened and his face changed to a lighter shade of pale. “I’m not very good at this stuff” he said, looking worried. And actually, I don’t think dead bird extraction probably figures in their job description or training, so he would have been well within his rights to refuse to do it. Some minutes later when it was established that the only way the bird was coming out was the same way it went in, the guys agreed that Tony should hold a jemmy to open up the grill so that a very brave Stephen could pull the bird back out. This worked very well, as if Tony had been any more involved he would have repositioned his breakfast all over our engine.
Tony checked the car over, and miraculously, it was undamaged. It could have been so much worse. He left feeling very relieved and more or less back to his usual colour, clutching the callout report that I have copied for your entertainment. Stephen, having the sick sense of humour that he does, wanted to add, “…and add salad or chips as desired”. Sorry, but I like to tell it like it is.
I usually pay a lot of attention to animal symbolism, and you can imagine I was pretty upset at where too much pondering on this could lead me. Especially as just a few miles previously we had called in at a service station where, literally minutes before our arrival, a coach had suffered brake failure in the car park and had ploughed into a huge hoarding and a car. We had several hundred miles of driving to do, spread out over another three days, so you can imagine we were a bit spooked.
But we are now back home, safe and sound and enjoying the lovely sunshine. Hope you are too.
Lots of other things have been going on, including a lot more visits to Mike, our fabulous herbalist, but I will save that for a longer blog.