Chariot to the peaks

My rib is definitely much better, so at the first opportunity I overestimated my capabilities and shinned myself. I attempted to bound into the back of a Luton van in skinny jeans, which restricted the jump marginally, so I hit my foot and crashed both my shins down on the lip of the trunk. Ow. I’m an idiot. I am not made of rubber. That’s just the inside of my head.

I’ve ended up driving this monster of a van from London to Macclesfield and back. I arrived to pick it up at 8.30am only to be told that it had been used in Carnival, hadn’t come back, and they couldn’t raise the driver. I get the sense it was a friend of theirs and that they were laid out somewhere with a sore head. It took three hours for them to both wake and persuade whoever it was to return the van through their hangover. So I had to resign myself to getting home after midnight. I stopped for a vegetarian curry in the Peaks, and took some photographs. If you’re going to be home late you might as well do it properly.

I was driving the set for Blues Brothers up into storage. There’s a little arts space up there where Brian and his business partner keep the things they need in case they want to remount past shows. I had a rummage for the Christmas Carol stuff, as I have an inkling I’ll be back Scrooging it in a few months. God that came round quickly. But thinking about it, a lot has changed this year. I’ve got better at saying “no” to things that I really ought to say “no” to. And I don’t regret agreeing to drive this van all day. Sunset was beautiful.


Now, however, it’s a long time after sunset, and I’m a little worried about how I’m going to make the final sixty miles. I’ve stopped at Cherwell Valley services. The van caps speed at 62 and consequently it’s extremely dull to drive. There’s not enough to think about. I’ve never been so heavy headed driving before. Even writing this I can barely keep my eyes open, and I’ve been stopped for a while now.

This whole service station reeks. There’s no way I’m sleeping here. Looks like I picked the wrong day to give up coffee. Chai has caffeine. It’s cheating, but cheating is better than dying. I’ll get some chai and a load of water and smash it home. If I make it home I’ll schedule this before I crash, in the bed sense. That way the very fact you’re reading this means you needn’t worry that I did it in the other sense.

It was close. I finally stumbled into my flat at ten to three. Every road that could be closed was closed. I almost ran out of diesel. There’s dried blood all over my left leg, although it’s just because the skin is taut. I have to move the van first thing tomorrow. I can hardly keep my eyes open and the cat hates me for not feeding her until 3. Bed. This blog was brought to you by chai soya latte, Spotify and The Prodigy. Without those three I’d be asleep in a layby. I nearly was anyway.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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