Monday, November 8, 2010
It's one thing to know you'll drive on the wrong side of the road in the UK, and quite another to get in a car and do it. We had landed at Heathrow, needed to pick up a rental car, then Brian at Gatwick. We got lost first turn out of the car agency. Dad insisted on driving and my control freakdom went ziggity boom as we circled around trying to get on the M25. Every travel piece I'd read warned against doing that, but we had to get to Gatwick posthaste. I collected Brian, and we flagged Dad down as he zipped around the roundabouts, hugging the line closest to his neighbor. We drove back roads to Christchurch, since I had map custody and wanted no more adventures on major roads. Narrow roads, huge trees inches away, buildings smack at the tarmac; if someone had opened the front door in some of these villages, we'd have ripped it off. As it was, we lost two hubcaps, one on a roundabout adventure in which Dad zipped around, shot off onto the side road we needed, right in the path of an oncoming Jaguar. Dad smiled, waved his hand apologetically and mumbled "American! Sorry!" We had to replace the hubcaps and turned it into a black market shopping fantasy. Here are Dad and cousin Charles giggling like schoolboys at their find. Charles later sent Dad a "UK Award For Painless Decapitation," making him an honorary member of the "Dorset Roads Association, Righthand Drive, 85% Clean Removal."