Driving Home for Summer

Motorway driving I’m used to. My parents have always lived in the North, not far from Manchester… it was where I was brought up. Since moving Daan Saarf when I was a young teenager to attend stage school I have travelled up and down the M1 more times than many people have probably had the proverbial hot dinner!!! Obviously in the years when I couldn’t drive I was either chauffered by my Dad, or I got the train. Ah… many a happy memory of rushing to Euston station with plenty of luggage trying to catch the inter-city fast train to Manchester Piccadilly (not), although as I got a little older a few of my friends used to travel the same way so it was pretty fun and very grown up we thought!

But I haven’t travelled up north by train in many years. Firstly because I can drive and I have a car, but mainly because I have children and the amount of stuff we take when we go visiting is, well, it’s ridiculous. Anyone would think we were leaving home. My neighbours must think we’re going on a road trip round the world!!

packing car

I have a HUGE car too but it still seems to be bursting at the seams by the time I’ve finished loading it. My children call it a coach but I love it; yes it’s a bit of a station wagon but I love all the space inside, my younger children can walk around in it! Times when my car has been in the garage and I’ve been given a brand new courtesy car, I couldn’t wait to get my old car back. Whichever 7 seater I’m given I still feel cramped; the middle seats are practically squashed up against the front ones, the back ones are in the boot which you can’t get to unless you open the boot – then there’s no boot space. No, those 7 seaters are not designed for big families. They are for average sized families that may have another person in the car occasionally!!

So getting back to the trip. I have a double pushchair for starters which goes into the boot. Then there’s the massive suitcase which I try to fit most of my own and the three youngest clothes into. My teen organises himself, which means another huge holdall as well as his Xbox and laptop etc. Then there’s the pillows, blankets, toys, dressing gowns, books, paperwork – I always take loads of that as I think I’m going to have plenty of time to sift through it whilst relaxing at home – I still refer to my Dad’s house as home – but I never usually get round to it! We usually take a mini picnic too to eat on the way (which ends up being all over the car when we get there). We don’t travel light.

Driving up the M1 is like second nature to me. I like to get my foot down and get there as quick as I can. I don’t like to stop at the services on the way although if the kids are playing up its a must, but I usually like to do the journey all in one go. It’s a journey I love to make. It’s somewhere I love to go so it’s never a chore.

I like driving on the motorway. Nothing beats a nice clear road ahead (if I’m lucky) on a glorious summer’s day, good tunes playing in the background and my beautiful children sleeping around me…. but it’s rarely like that for the whole way.

This time wasn’t particularly fun. I had planned to set off just after lunch, timing it to perfection so the kids would’ve just eaten and would fall asleep for most of the way. But I just couldn’t for the life of me get out of the house. I seemed to go around in circles looking for things in the places where they ought to be, only they weren’t there! Grrr! My disorganisational (that’s not a real word by the way) skills really in full flow! I was getting quite angry with myself for not having everything ready the night before.

Meanwhile, my children were making more mess than I’ve ever seen, left to their own devices whilst I was rushing around like a mad woman. I was slowly losing the will to live.

When we finally left, about 4.30pm, just in time for the rush hour traffic, I obviously needed petrol (of course – only normal, organised people do this the day before) so I headed down to Tesco’s to fill up my car. There was a queue. I also noticed that my back tyre was a little flat. Fanbloodytastic! Drove round to the air machine and QUEUED there too!!

I was fuming. I rang the OH who was at work and wasn’t joining us for a our trip, to shout abuse at him for not making sure my car was all checked and ready to drive!! I mean, how dare he just leave me to do all this?!!! Surely as the man of the house he should’ve given my car a full p***ing service before I left!!!! I’ve got all his kids in the car….WHAT IF I CRASHED?!!!!!! (poor bloke)

What all of this meant was my twins had already fallen asleep as soon as I left the house so therefore would wake up only a short way into the (roughly) three hour drive, resulting in them being ratty, whinging and complaining causing me extreme stress whilst driving!

To be fair though I didn’t do too badly. They did sleep most of the way bless them and the motorway was pretty clear. It was lovely. I was lost in thought at times. The journey always make me think of my parents and times gone by.

I’ve had a few incidents on my various driving trips up north over the years. I’ve had guys doing moonies at me, I’ve had lorries trying to kill me, I’ve had breakdowns and flat tyres, I’ve had 9 hour journeys where there’s been a crash and I’ve been pulled over by the police!

Still, I guess it’s all part of the motoring experience. It doesn’t put me off. And now I’m home I’m a having a well deserved rest for a few days (to recover from the drive hehe) before planning some fun, northern days out!

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  1. charlottebrown96236573 says

    Sounds like chaos; just like any time we plan to go anywhere! I don’t know how other people manage to get themselves organised, we’re always on the last minute without petrol and not being able to find stuff. My hubby’s a mechanic with his own garage and even he doesn’t get our car sorted out unless I remind him! Great post hun xx

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Hehe thank you!! The most stressful part of a trip sometimes is simply getting organised beforehand!! Fine if it’s just you but when there’s four kids to think about too and the British weather doesn’t help …. Have to pack for all scenarios!!!! I like that I’m not the only one, thanks for reading x

  2. Glad you are still loving the motorway driving. It can be hard work leaving the house with children for a trip to the supermarket, let alone a holiday/weekend trip. My dad was a mechanic for years and our family cars were never sorted out beforehand either…except for me and my brother marking out ‘our’ backseat space before the journey.

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