Friday night and I'm in the house having just settled down with a glass of nice red, a bag of natchos and kids in bed. My wife out visiting friends in Kelso, and me thinking about the next days stalking.
1030pm and I get a text from her saying 'home in 10mins.x'
15mins later my mobile rings and all I get in a slightly hysterical voice is, ' I'm trapped in the car...' then the signal is lost. The reception can be poor in areas of the borders. It immediately rings again and this time the message is, 'I'm hanging by the belt in the car...' then signal lost again. This time I phone and shout, 'where abouts are you!!!???' Now, bear in mind Kelso is 20+ mile from me and all the roads round us are pretty much A or B class and no lights. I have no idea what route she will have taken and the temp outside is now well below freezing. This time I get the word Threepwood and Bluecairn out of her. That un-named road is in the opposite direction from where she is supposed to be. She also manages to say that she has 'crawled out of the car...'!!! It just gets better...
My oldest lad hears this from the bedroom and comes through asking what is wrong. I tell him that mum has had an accident and trying to keep calm say that he will have to sit with his younger brother. The road my wife mentioned is only 2 miles from me so I knew it would be far quicker me going than phoning for the police. As I am going out the door the power in the house goes off! Now I have a dilemma, leaving a almost 11 year old and a 9 year old in a dark house, or leave their mum possibly injured in a freeing car wreck! I phone for Jo's folks and there is no answer. I phone my folks and shout to my mum to get dad to come up and that I am leaving with a brief explanation. At that the power comes back on.
I take off in the Landy and the roads are absolutely treacherous. I come over the hill road and about a mile away in the distance I see an amber light flashing in the total pitch black. When I get there Jo is standing on the roadside a bit shaken and the car has come to rest against the dyke, on the passenger side having done probably 1 1/2 tumbles. She has had to climb out the driver door window. The road is so slippy I can hardly stand on it.
The car is an obvious write-off, as is Rob Tinto's wall! He is on holiday just now so I hope I still have permission to shoot on his land when he gets back!!!
She had offered a lift back to a nearby town to one of the girls, and instead of taking the more main road home afterwards, had opted for the un-named back road. She said later the freezing conditions had made her think twice about it... for a moment, and then made the wrong decision. I am standing staring at a cloudless starry sky, a full moon and thinking, why do women not realise what that means and drive accordingly!!!???
Anyway, after the shock and a few raised voices, the obvious relief she was okay set in and we all calmed down. I got her home and the only injury was sore neck, shoulders and back. And one written off car that is being (sorry, was being) traded in for a new one in a fortnight.
The obvious moral of the story is, no matter how sure you are of yourself and your driving, tell someone the route you are taking and do not change from it!!!