Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tragedy on the A1001

The horse surveying adventures continue apace: we've been to Hickin, Harpenden, St. Albans, Sandridgebury, and my favorite name, Ickleford. The horse people run the gamut from friendly to quirky to rude. We went to a horse show in Tring to do some clipboard surveying, and I ended up giving advice on how to get into vet school to a fifteen-year-old Brit. We went to a stable in Thrall's End, run by an American couple, who had not only horses but a suite of professional offices such as dentists and the like; would you like a free toothbrush with your horse? One stable was on the grounds of vaguely sinister-sounding company called something like "Ovebra", but Google doesn't give me any info so either I mis-remember the name or it is an MI5 front.

However, the most pertinent event since my last post is that we had a car accident on Thursday. We are both perfectly fine. The car is less fine, but fixable. It went down like this: we were driving to a stable outside of St. Albans, and came to a roundabout off the A1001. Mary is a pro at these roundabouts, which, if you've never been to England, are the primary way the British route traffic, rather than streetlights. So we get to this roundabout, which Mary has driven through many times before. This circle actually does have traffic lights as well, which regulate your entry into the circle. We were waiting in the line of cars, and when our lane started to move, we cheerfully followed.

However, it turned out that actually the lights were turned off for roadwork, and we were actually in a yield situation--the cars in front of us had simply taken advantage of a gap in traffic. Mary was entering the circle, and I looked to the right and saw this gigantic lorry bearing down on us. It honked, Mary tried to get out of the way, but it rubbed against the front driver's side of our poor little Citroen. If Mary hadn't gotten out of the way as much as she did, it probably would have smashed straight into her door, so that is a little scary to think about. We were obviously at fault, but it was also obviously an ugly traffic pattern.

But, we're all fine. And the good news is that of course the lorry was completely unscathed, and the driver was very nice. Also nice was a road worker who got the car down to a pull out spot, and nicest of all was Mary's mechanic, who came out personally in the tow truck and was very soothing, even going out of his way to drop us off in Barnet. As best as I can tell, the damage didn't involve the engine--it just knocked out the front headlight, tore off part of the bumper, and pushed in the side of the car.

In the meantime, we have resumed our busy driving schedule using a roommate's car. No pain no gain!

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