Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Pull up to the bumper...

Words from a Bird.  Day 139...

Today, I would like to talk about my drive..

Before you all start reaching for a stiff drink or the ESC button, let me explain.  Ten years ago, when the husband and I claimed this house as our own, our four children had an average age of eleven.  The idea that sometime in the not so distant future they would be driving, was not on our radar at all.  It was only when daughter number 1 passed her test and got her first car that we started to realise that things would have to change if we ever wanted to get into the drive again. 

You see, it's not just your own children who start driving, but their many, many friends who are all doing the same.  So as daughter number 1's Peugeot started tipping up on the drive, so did others.  Small, economical rust buckets with a life expectancy of about two years started appearing at weekends, randomly deposited at various points on our drive and the surrounding lawn. 

Something had to be done, and it was with great joy and a giddy hopping from foot to foot that on Boxing Day morning 2010, the husband got his Kubota out.  This, for the uneducated amongst you, is a small digger, and he proceeded to remove half of our front lawn, replacing it with a drive extension.

Some of our neighbours were disgusted at his vim and vigour on a day when most people struggle to get out of their pyjamas. (This is because nothing else fits after the Christmas Day 'Eat all You Can' festivities).   The major complaint was that he'd made some of the husbands look slightly inadequate.  This is one of the joys of having a husband who can 'do' stuff.  I may have to wait for it to be done (the current record is seven years for a leaking shower) but he gets there in the end.  But there's always a downside to being able to 'do' stuff - give the husband a new laptop, and he's sobbing into his HiVis jacket, teaching anyone within a five mile radius a variety of new and interesting words.

But by the end of the Christmas break, we had plenty of room for my car, daughter number 1's plus a couple of friends' and the husband's vehicle (this is the size of a small continent as befitting someone in the construction industry).

Fast forward six years, and we're back to square one.  All four children have cars (and friends with cars) and when they are all here, it looks like an NCP car park when I gaze out of my bedroom window.  Never mind looking at the flowers around the borders, I have to shield my eyes from the glare of up to seven cars abandoned on the gravel.  I have considered walking round the drive with a note pad and pen, jotting down arrival times and charging by the hour, but I don't think I'd get away with it.  Anyway, the majority of them are students and 'poor' apparently.  (A minor point here - three of the four are going to Thailand for a month this year, while the other is having two European holidays.  The husband and I are living in a shed on the south coast for a week....I wish I was 'poor' like them...)

So coming home the other day when we had a full house, my car park, sorry, drive, resembled one of those sliding squares toys which we had in the 1960's.  You know the ones, where you have to move one square to move another and so on, until the picture is completed.  It probably would have taken about thirty six manoeuvres by seven different people to get my car back into its normal space.  I decided to leave it on the grass opposite the house where easy access is always available.

This year, we decided to get rid of the gravel drive, and replace it with something that doesn't like to leave home on a regular basis (I have no idea where all those stones have gone). The husband claims that they get stuck in tyres and driven off to new homes.  Now this could be true for his 4WD/I can climb a mountain/drive on snow tyres, but I'm not too sure about my Mini's rather delicate ones.

We had almost decided on tarmac.  The husband liked this, and was threatening to mark out bays for each child's car.  It did suddenly dawn on us though, that by September all of them would be gone.  Two to university, one to Milton Keynes (oh the glamour of a first job) and one hopefully into her own home.  All of a sudden, our runway-sized drive is surplus to requirements.  I did mention to the husband that perhaps we could reclaim our land back from the drive, and re-turf it, returning our front lawn to its former glory.

I've not seen him since...
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