How life has changed
Getting stuck out is one of the hazards of a truck drivers life. The legal clock is always ticking and when it strikes 15 hours of work that’s it, you have to stop, roll out the sleeping bag, whack on the night heater and spend the night in the cab. I usually do day work so I’m dependent on ‘planners’ (notice the quotes) to ensure that the wagon, and me, are safely back well before one of us turns into a pumpkin. Especially on a Friday.
Of course we are not just subject to the law of the land, but also the laws written by Mr Murphy, and there is plenty to go wrong in transport.
A couple of Friday’s ago it looked like such a confluence of laws was about to happen. After a long day I was still two and half hours away in Hereford, in an interminably slow queue of trucks waiting to be unloaded, with plenty of time to listen to the radio telling me of the snow chaos that was being visited on the UK road network. Not so long ago this would have OK, an adventure even. These days I just want to get home to my pregnant wife.
Eventually it was my turn to tip (unload). “Have you been there?” says the lad driving the forklift, gesturing towards my head. Ah yes, I was wearing my Nurburgring baseball cap. Yes, I have.
And that was it, he was off. He had a Golf with super-dupa bits, his friend had an Astra with 240 hp, he knew some good rally drivers, this about cars, that about cars. He was a Special Car Nut, an absolutely petrol fuelled obsessive. I recognised him, because I used to be him. And I wasn’t that interested. Then his boss came out, and it came about that I mentioned that I had to get home to my expectant wife. He asked a question or two, and then I found myself bubbling with enthusiasm.
So then I realised something else had changed with me. Old obsessions had slowly receded into being just passing interests. Why? Because I’m going to be dad, and nothing is as good as that.
PS I did manage to get home that night.