I was working in Dumfriesshire last Friday. It was a cold day, but there had hardly been any sign of snow during the day in southern Scotland.
However, the drive home to the central belt was going to prove to be on edge. My first leg of the journey proved to be free of any issues and naturally boosted my confidence for the rest of the journey. However, I was aware not to allow any complacency to set in.
I then left the A74(M) and took the A702 to Edinburgh. A bold move, particularly given the fact that I encountered the snow on my way to work that morning in the Kingdom of Fife. But I was just about confident that the wintry weather had eased. But about ten miles in, I encountered trouble.
On my way to work earlier in the day, I had to clear the snow from my windows in Fife. But on my drive home, snow had become a visible and unwelcoming presence again. And sleet fell and given the direction it was falling in, I felt like I was viewing a repeat loop of Star Wars without credits.
The road hadn’t been well gritted to my own satisfaction at the time so I ended up crawling up the road at thirty five to forty miles an hour – we’ll below the standard national speed limit for a single carriageway, with exceptions of course to certain parts of the road due to being in a residential area, for instance.
As I drove towards Biggar, things really did get bad and I was very precautious. I was terrified of using the brakes more than I really had to incase I potentially skidded off the road. My stress levels were rocketing, yet I had no choice but to remain calm. Panic would have finished me off, literally.
When I reached the South Lanarkshire town, I found a safe place to park my car and stopped. I got out of the vehicle and took my smartphone out and told people on social media on video to put safety first if anyone was thinking of travelling that evening. You can never take anything for granted, particularly when the weather is volatile.
I was initially bemused that snow occurred in February, but later realised that this isn’t necessarily unusual. There had been times in previous years when it’s falling and settling had caused mass chaos for commuters and disrupted many people’s lives.
After about over half an hour later, I set off again when the sleet had stopped. But the road remained treacherous. And the sleet was back and causing me more unease. It’s bad enough driving on a single carriageway in the dark on any normal night, but a night like this was even worse.
However, after what felt like a near eternity, I eventually reached the Edinburgh City Bypass. The rest of the journey was much less dramatic. But delight wasn’t the resulting emotion of my brutally tough drive home. It was just utter relief. Scotland has many of it’s benefits being resident here, but one of them isn’t bad weather!