Jill Gallone: A month to forget – icy roads, traffic chaos and no bed
JANUARY 2013 has a lot to answer for and, frankly, I'm glad to see the back of it today.
I've spent the last week sleeping on the floor, interspersed with a couple of nights on an airbed – frighteningly similar to sleeping on a bouncy castle.
I've negotiated drives through sleety, icy snow and endured what has to be the worst motoring experience ever on the A38.
When your tyres are sliding at 30mph but articulated lorries still decide to thunder past you at speed, it's a tad disarming.
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Plus I live on a hill and, when I glance out of my lounge window and spot cars sliding backwards uncontrollably, it does not bode well.
Don't you just love the annual British week of snow chaos?
Let the nation risk life and limb for a week because we can't afford a zillion snow ploughs (anyway, we've got the Tube in London so who cares).
As for smug 4x4 drivers. If I had a pound for every cocky Range Rover driver, I would be rich. They love a bit of snow just so they can laugh at the rest of us as they perch in their macho mini trucks.
Then there is the bed problem. I don't have one.
I decided to sell my old one online but, being mega-hard up in recession-hit Britain, couldn't afford a new one until I had the dosh in my mitts from the one on the way out.
I admit it's not the best idea in the world to sell your bed before you've bought a new one – especially when you end up sleeping on the floor.
"Carry on camping love," laughed my chum, psychic to the stars and all-round good egg Linda Lancashire, from Heanor.
"Sleeping on the floor really isn't that bad," I replied, stoically. True Brit grit, that's me.
"I've created a sleepover-style bed with piles of old quilts, blankets and pillows. Anyway. it's good for your back. In fact, I don't really think any of us need beds."
It didn't even bother me when my eldest son joked about sleeping in gutters and serenaded me with a song Rams fans sing to opposition supporters which contains the immortal line "you find a dead rat and you think it's a treat".
I probably would these days. Mmm, rat pie.
On top of all that, I'm grappling with sorting out yet another broken electrical item – my youngest's computer, hot on the heels of my TV. Don't mention hard drives to me.
Yes, January 2013 hasn't been the best. It's been awash with mini disasters requiring countless e-mails to internet companies which do anything to avoid giving you a phone number to ring. Last night I actually considered headbutting a company's website on my netbook. Not a good sign.
To compound all this, Derby City Council decides to launch major city centre roadworks in January. Don't they realise how close to the edge we all are? Right now, it would be easier to get to work by swimming through mud with a hippo tied to my back.
High-speed rail network? Don't make me laugh. We'll be able to get to London in minutes – but it will take us four hours to drive 10 miles to the HS2 station!