[Ah – literation!]
I actually quite enjoy long distance driving. Left to my own devices, I’ll keep going all day without much in the way of pauses, much to the annoyance of my female passengers. There is one thing about it that drives me mad, though – the tunes in my head.
In a half way decent climate it’s nice to drive along with my driver’s side window opened at least a crack. An open window is where the trouble starts. My brain always thinks it hears bizarre short, repetitive tunes in the rushing sound of the air. The tunes are generally not real tunes, just a short sequence of invented notes with a tone that suggests a certain instrument. When we left Bellebouche on Saturday, I spent the first 150kms or so listening to an imaginary blues riff played on a harmonica. A fuel stop provided me with some kind of relief and I spent the last 150kms listening to one of my more usual imaginary brass fanfares. The only off button is to stop. Imagine listening to Boy George for five hours and you’ll begin to understand my frustration. I can quite understand why folks who claim to hear voices in their heads can be driven completely mad.
We hit rain approaching Normandy, so I had to concentrate harder through my musical entertainment. We did managed to get set up in a respite, though. Our only agenda was a raid on the local shops for some booty to carry home – Ricard (pastis) and Père Magloire (Calvados) – and something for dinner. We fancied our favourite platter of smoked fish from a small smoke-house in Tréport but sadly, the shop didn’t have any so we had to make up our own mixture. Poor show! Our substitute did a reasonable job washed down by a decent bottle of Pouilly Fumé but I do hope the real thing will reappear next time around.
Sunday morning soon descended into cloud, then light rain as we set off for Calais. Half way through the two hour journey the light rain had become a deluge the like of which I have never before driven through. The clouds were on the deck, the spray was intense and the rain was incessant. We spotted an accident which seemed to have involved a car attempting to do a skate-boarders rail-sliding trick along the Armco barrier, two wheels one side of the barrier, up in the air, and two the other side of the barrier, on the ground. The car rested at a rakish angle of about 30°, and this on a dead straight section of road. How does that happen?
Initially under some lesser rain, I spent the remaining 2 hours driving back from Dover listening to the National Anthem of the Ancient Britons, having mentally forced my irritating initial ear worm into something at least amusing.
We’re back home and I’m a gibbering wreck!