After last week’s aelf-fellating blog, it was time for a reality check. I went back to my old firm, recycling roads and motorways for a couple of weeks before my next tour starts (more on that soon).
No more manning the cameras at Hitler’s old Waldbühne amphitheatre for Imagine Dragons, or climbing through the roof of Wembley Arena to work the spotlights for an Indian icon. The past 10 days I’ve been down in sunny Cornwall, digging up the A30.
I lied. It’s been anything but sunny. Of the 7 nights we should’ve worked, we’ve only managed it for 2 nights. Rain, wind, snow, and freezing conditions cancelled the rest.
I worked some day shifts instead, loading my old Volvo 410 and delivering around Devon and Cornwall, but the weather that had broken up the night work also affected the days; floods and mud and shit everywhere, but in a 32 tonne 8 wheeled tipper truck, I shouldn’t have any problems…right?
After navigating a particularly shiity set of roads, a stone bridge with a kink in it, and a cattle grid with fencing either side that I barely got the Volvo through, I was greeted by the farmer who I was delivering 20 tonnes of road planings to.
“Cor,” he said, pushing a dirty red cap from his forehead to scratch his thin, wet hair, “you did well to get that thing up here.”
“I couldn’t get the full 20 tonne in the boot of my car,” I said before asking if there was a better way out of the deep dark depths of…wherever I was.
He shook his head. “That’s tha’ only way out. Over the cattle grid. Tight, innit?”
“Innit,” I agreed, spun the truck, left, back out towards the cattle grid.
This time it wasn’t too bad. I was prepared for the grid, the ridiculous bridge, and the lanes so tight the hedges scratched at the sides of the truck.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the car stuck helplessly in water ahead of me.
Annoyance poked me. It was Friday afternoon, I still had another load to deliver, and a 3 hour drive home in bullshit traffic. I got out and had a look around. There was nothing, no avenues of escape for my big old truck, and all because some tool thought his Nissan Micra would be safe driving though two foot of water.
A tractor pulled up behind me and I jumped out to speak to him.
“What’s on?” he asked me. I thought he looked very young and too well groomed to drive a tractor. Maybe it was his recreational vehicle.
I explained what had happened, as the farmer couldn’t see around my truck, the road was that tight. I’d literally dragged myself through a hedge to talk to him.
“What are my options?” I asked him.
“You can’t go forward,” he said, straining over his steering wheel to look past my truck. “And there’s no junctions around here to turn her in. You’ll have to go back.”
“Reverse all the way?” I asked.
He nodded. “It ain’t a short journey.”
It took me about 45 minutes to reverse my truck all the way back to a junction big enough to turn around in. During that time I had to get out and explain to every car coming up the lane behind me that they’d also need to go back, because if they did get past me they wouldn’t get through the water ahead.
I dinged the Volvo up a bit, losing a mirror cover and a side bar set, and when I got back to the yard, one of the tyres was hissing out air. It was a shit day…
…that didn’t get any better when I returned to work, getting my truck stuck twice at different tips in shite weather conditions. I lost the other mirror cover.
But it’s finished now. My Cornwall adventure is over, and next week I prepare to go on a euro tour. Let’s see what excitement I can share in my blogs then.
As long as I don’t get my tour truck stuck, it should be all OK.
Cue ominous music