Firstly a big 'hello' to the various Alfas I saw on the A9 heading North whilst we were heading South on Saturday to my brother and sister in-laws in Perth, not one of you waved back but hey ho - I'm used to it
As she who must be obeyed
had never been there we stopped off at the House of Bruar for a bite of lunch and some last minute Christmas shopping. This was painless - surprisingly so - as she who must be obeyed
insisted upon buying lunch and
doing the small amount of shopping that was needed to placate various relatives at this time of year.
Unfortunately, on the way out of the car park, a loud 'pop' from the offside headlight and a general darkening of the road in front meant one light down for the short hop to Perth. No worries, Halfords would be open I'll buy the bulbs and fit a new one myself. After all, on a 147 JTDm (thought I) the drivers side is the easy bulb to replace... right?
It's the awkward one, I have hands like shovels and even the female members of family couldn't reach around to get the damn bulb out
Knowing we were coming back up the road on Sunday I figured I would get away with one headlight if we travelled in daylight or as close to daylight hours as possible.
Of course, it was snowing on Sunday so it was dark. And snowy.
Fortunately my winter tyres were doing a grand job until somewhere near Killiecrankie.
That's when the nearside rear tyre went bang. Fortunately it happened on a single carriageway section and with a passing place within eyesight.
Have you ever changed to a space-saver tyre in the snow, wind and more snow with a pregnant wife trying to be useful but generally getting in the way? No? Well let me tell you it's not much fun.
With the space-saver fitted it was back on to the road at a top speed of 80kmh. Now I've never really bothered to see what 80kmh looks like - it is slow. Very slow. Fair play though, you accept that when it's a space-saver but - on the A9 with blood-thirsty drivers everywhere - it's a daunting experience.
Fortunately, for me, the House of Bruar loomed for a much needed late lunch. It was now snowing hard.
Whilst scoffing down some rather fine roast beef I said to she who must be obeyed
that ideally what I needed was a nice slow queue of traffic heading back North I could attach to with only one functioning headlight and a space-saver tyre. Ever had that 'be careful what you wish for' thing happen? Yes? Well you'll know how I felt when ten minutes after re-joining the A9 we caught up with a queue of traffic just like the one I had described. Only it was bigger than I thought it - about 2 miles long - and at 30 mph it was going ten miles per hour slower than I wanted to be running.
So House of Bruar to Inverness was a mere 2 and three quarter hours.
Still, at least the average mpg for the trip was 54mpg.
Shame today that the space-saver appears to be flat.