It's been a strange morning.
I was woken by the sound of the wind moaning down our chimneys. In my sleep-befuzzled state, I initially thought it was someone with a very deep voice talking downstairs. The alarm hadn't gone off yet, but I got up anyway.
As I pulled up the blinds downstairs, I saw an unexpected vision outside our window: a perfectly formed frog, looking for all the world like a shiny chocolate, frozen still on our concrete path. My son Max had woken too and we gazed at this miniature marvel for a while.
The wind was picking up and blowing sheets of rain across the garden in heavy gusts: Chloe was going to push me to drive her to school.
And of course I did - soft touch that I am. Traffic was heavier than normal on the school run - I assumed it was because of the rain - and there was the usual mini-flood at the bottom of our street. But as I neared the school it was clear something was really wrong. The traffic had slowed to a standstill and didn't look like it was moving up ahead. I tapped the steering wheel and muttered to Chloe: "What on earth is going on up there?"
I noticed a woman in a car on the opposite side of the road speaking to people in my traffic queue and several cars subsequently doing U-turns in the road. Clearly something had happened up ahead.
"A tree has blown down up there," she said when she got to my car. "The road's closed."
Huffing and puffing a little I struggled to U-turn, only to end up in a queue going back the way I'd come. I swear that the new jam I was in was actually moving slower than the old one.
Having finally reached the roundabout at the end and screeched aggressively in front of a car, I confidently followed road B - an alternative way to Chloe's school, but the traffic was dreadful there too. " A knock-on effect of the tree I expect" I said airily.
But as time ticked on I began to lose my cool; the inertia of the van in front was starting to get to me.
"COME ON!!" I yelled pointlessly. This was serious. Chloe was going to be late and I still had to get home in time to take Max and his friend to their school. "Oh for God's sake!" I exploded as we inched on, "this is like pulling teeth!"
Chloe laughed. "I'm sorry Mum, but your exasperation is really quite funny." I saw her point but didn't feel amused. In my head I thought "Stupid traffic! Bloody ridiculous! MOOOOVE!".
In the end I suggested she walk, it would definitely be quicker. She wasn't convinced and none to happy about it, but she did get out and I'm sure got to school on time. Meanwhile I managed to do another U-turn and got home to find Max agitating about being late.
The boys were excited by the thought of a tree falling down. "Maybe it fell on our school," said Max hopefully. "Cooooool," they both chimed.
We had to go down the same road as before, only this time the traffic jam was moving a bit more and had gone down a little, but just in case I parked the car a little further down the road and walked them in the rest of the way. We were just in time.
Walking back to the car, I looked up the road expecting to see some enormous felled oak blocking the road ...or at least some orange lights flashing. Instead I saw a tiny digger and a red and white barrier on the side. Bumping into a friend who lives up that way, I asked her where the tree was. "No tree," she said cheerfully, "just some temporary traffic lights."
What the..?? why did that woman..?? Oh. I see.
Thanks to debio for two kind awards.
I pass the Blogging Star onto: Mother at Large and Daniele in London
I pass the Awesome Blogger award to: Keir Royale and Diary of a Housewife.