Easy As Falling Off a Bike pt 3158

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The Daily Dormouse.
(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Part 3158
by Angharad

Copyright© 2017 Angharad

  
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This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
*****

“If we had a four wheel drive, we’d be okay in the snow,” declared Danielle.

“That wasn’t my experience of driving one in snow and ice, in fact I had to dig it out which was very hard work.”

“Oh,” she said looking somewhat crestfallen. “That wasn’t a proper Landrover was it?”

“No it was a Porsche.”

“That explains it, Mum, I saw this thing about Landrovers on Youtube they have so much torque they can deal with things every other four wheel drive can’t. They showed a Landrover pulling a big American Jeep thingy backwards. The Jeep had a much bigger engine but no pull. Dad said it was all wind and piss.”

“That’s enough of that sort of language, missy.”

“It’s what he said.” She blushed.

“I don’t care if the Pope said it, I don’t want to hear you saying it, understood?”

Hannah smirked and Danielle went a fiery red but it was diffused when I asked them where should we go. “How about into Perth?”

“Nothing much there is, there?”

“It’s a city with a cathedral and so on.”

“We can go shopping in Portsmouth any day,” replied Danielle sounding more like a boy than she had for a long time.

“Yeah, let’s go see the mountain, MacDougal or whatever it was called,” agitated Hannah.
“D’rather do that than shoppin’, can do that tomorrow,” agreed Danielle. In the end I succumbed to the majority view, even though I had the authority to overrule it. However, we were well lagged with boots and gaiters, waterproofs, shovels, food, hot drinks, mobile phones and blankets. We also had the sat nav with us, plus GPS on the smart phones and if all else failed, I had an Ordnance survey map and a compass.

We didn’t bother with a camera because of the phones all having reasonable ones, but I did have my binoculars, not the expensive Swarovski but a nice pair of nitrogen filled Opticron ones. I shoved my gloves in the pockets of my coat and got in the car, Mr Dunstan was annoyed that I’d disregarded his advice and I told him that we’d turn around at the first sign of snow. We left him muttering and drove off.

Anyone who has been to Scotland will notice the light is different here, especially in summer. This was spring time but already, the higher latitudes from those on the south coast which we normally encountered daily, made a difference to the light. It was cloudy but, at the moment not heavy cloud and there appeared to be a sort of glare coming from the sky. I simply hoped it wouldn’t snow because finding a white car in a snow drift may be a small problem, it would also be a risk of being damaged by snowploughs if we had to abandon it.

My plan was very basic, drive up the A9 around the edge of the national park, up through Killiecrankie, a village made famous by a very short battle won by the Jacobites—the supporters of James II—against the Red Coats, the supporters of William of Orange.

The whole area is full of places that were involved in skirmishes and battles, including Dunkeld where the Cameronians held off the attacks of the Jacobites for eleven hours, until the latter had exhausted their ammunition and withdrew, three hundred men lighter. According to the history books, the Cameronians were originally drawn from supporters of a Richard Cameron, who was preacher who was a covenanter. Interestingly, because Lord Dundee had been killed at Killiekrankie, the Jacobites appointed an Irish Colonel Cannon to lead them instead of the leader of the Clan Cameron from Lochiel, so Cameron left and took many of his men with him. I wondered if he was one of Simon’s ancestors, I suppose Mr Dunstan would
know. It confused me a little when I read of all these Camerons on both sides of the argument.

As we drove through Killiecrankie the sky seemed to become more ominous and developed a look which to me always suggests some of the white stuff is on its way. I pulled over and told the girls we were going back as I thought snow was on its way. They grumbled took a few photos of the hills and mountains they could see and as I turned the car around so some flakes of the white stuff began falling. I drove as quickly as I could because I knew it would soon arrive in heavier quantities which it did, and by the time we came past Pitlochry, it was coming thick and fast and our progress was much slowed.

It was near Balnaguard that things became interesting, as a truck carrying logs took a bend rather too quickly and turned over spilling his load across the whole carriageway on both sides of the narrow road. Thankfully we were behind him and managed to stop, I immediately switched on the hazard lights and also my rear foglights, hoping the car would be seen by anything coming behind. I instructed the children to get out of the car, my experience on the motorway had taught me the value of that one, and while they moaned and groaned in safety, I went to check on the driver of the lorry.

The car behind us took care of the traffic coming behind, stopping it and I left it to him to call the police. A driver from the opposite direction also approached the upturned lorry and between us we assessed the driver’s condition. He was breathing but not responsive at what was now the bottom of the cab. We obtained access to him through the missing windscreen. He was still strapped into his seat and we decided for the moment to leave him as he was.

The traffic wasn’t heavy but it was backing up in both directions and it was obvious we needed some heavy lifting gear to shift the large logs, as in trees, from the road. Two or three other drivers managed to move one or two a few feet and then tried to drive through the space they’d created. It didn’t really work and they got stuck amidst the debris—stupid men.

The police arrived an hour later by which time we’d wrapped the injured driver in one of my blankets to try and keep him warm. They called up a small crane to shift the logs and two hours later, damp and getting cold, we were able to proceed as the fire brigade released the man from the truck and carried him to the awaiting ambulance.

The snow had stopped about an hour before we left the scene and had warned Mr Dunstan that we were held up at an accident but were quite safe. Once the police were there I allowed the girls to re-enter our car and sit in the relative warm while they waited to go home.

Their account of the accident was different to how I remembered it, but they painted me as driving very well and saving the truck driver’s life, which was a bit of an exaggeration so I didn’t disagree too much. Mr Dunstan nodded at various points in their narrative and looking at me said, “Aye, ye’re a Cameron a’richt,” then he smiled at me and went back to speaking ordinary English.

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