A few weeks ago Daddytwo got his new company car - long awaited, much desired, to enormous excitement. It's a huge, shiny, bright white, automatic (lazy bones) Peugeot 3008. He had the earlier version of this (with the whole roof sunroof) as his first company car when he got this job and it was the car we moved down south in, the car he proposed in, so the big brother version was very exciting, with a whole roof made of sunroof that we thought the kids would love.
It arrived towards the end of the week and our first trip as a family (because he had to use it for stupid WORK in the meantime) was to visit my best friend a 90 minute drive away because she's just had a tiny baby girl that I needed to smoooooooosh.
So off we went!
Brave, fantastic (or perhaps just sensible) best friend had planned a walk to the playground for a picnic then a quick drive to a soft play centre so that we could sit and drink coffee while my very energetic kids went feral and I got to do a LOT of cuddling the baby and it was just glorious.
We made and delivered sushi (which was a big soggy, sorry best friend) because when you've not been allowed sushi for a whole pregnancy it is the greatest of all foods.
Four hours together passed very quickly and I could see my friend was tired, though she'd never say so, so we all trotted over the road to the supermarket we'd parked outside to grab a sandwich for the kids to eat in the car as we drove home (and we planned to get a dirty kebab once we were close - don't you judge me!)
We got our food and walked back to the car with much "we must meet up soon" and hugging - then saw it.
THE CAR. THE BRAND NEW CAR!
Someone had driven like some kind of insane person (goodness knows how they managed it) and ploughed into the back of the car, which was in the far corner of the car park where it was very quiet, and taken the whole back end off!
You can see how far the car was bashed across - it had been parked perfectly straight (of course, because my husband parked, not me) so it had been hit with some welly!
And when we arrived the guy who'd done it was crouched behind the car trying to jam the back bumper back on! Like we'd just not notice if he could just balance it?!
My husband was impressively calm and took all the details and gave his own while the rest of us did a lot of "AAAAAAH THE CAR, THE CAR!" and even more "What if we'd not gone in the shop? We'd have been stood right there with the kids!"
We tried to send our friends home to get some rest but they insisted on waiting to see how long our recovery truck would take (the electrics and lights had been ripped out and we weren't sure whether the wheels were damaged so we had to be recovered) then promised us dinner at theirs too (poor tired parents of a newborn, as if they needed that!)
The man who hit us made his way off in his own damaged car and my husband went to see if there was CCTV coverage in case we needed it. The security guy watched it, did a big wide eyed shocked face and said "um...I can't show you this, but I think you should call the police. I can show them." and we all wondered once more how badly, fast and dangerously the guy had been driving! The car park was wet, I think he took the corner at the bottom way too fast and aquaplaned right into our car. Hard!
So a call was duly made. Passing the details over we realised he'd given no surname and skipped a number from the phone number he gave. Hmm! So we logged it all and started looking up some road accident advice and arranged for a recovery truck to come and rescue us.
Initially they said it would take less than an hour - but because we had the children and needed a truck with space for the carseats it ended up taking longer and we all decamped back to my poor friend's house until gone 9pm!
They set up their spare bed for the children to snuggle down (they were so tired!) and then my friend's other half drove Daddytwo to the police station to give a statement about the accident (because of the CCTV and the strange details given).
While he was gone I tried to help my friend bath baby and repeatedly apologised for still being there and being a pain. Then from upstairs the coughing and crying started.
I was already soaked through from standing in the rain trying to get pictures of the cars and as I gathered Midget Gem up in my arms to help with his cough he coughed so hard he was sick all over me! Perfect!
So I had to borrow a t-shirt from my friend (she and her partner are both CONSIDERABLY slimmer than me, so you can imagine how good that looked!) and sit in leggings damp with vomit while calling Daddytwo to say "on top of everything else can you find a supermarket that's still open and bring home something for me and our now naked toddler to wear? Thank you..."
The recovery truck loaded up and sat outside where the man driving KEPT calling me "Ma'am" (either that or he was very familiar and just called me "Mam" a lot) and referred to my husband as "Sir" even though I kept telling him our names.
Daddytwo and friend's partner arrived back with clothes (HURRAH) and I was very pleased with my new jumper dress and leggings, and Midget Gem was BEYOND excited with his superman costume (an obvious choice as PJs!) and then we had to wake up Jellybean and tell him he was going home in a lorry!
The kids were really, really excited with this adventure, and it was now around 9.30pm so we adults were all tired and a bit fed up, but the kids thought it was great and kept calling the recovery man a superhero, which he seemed to like.
Then it got REALLY fun.
Recovery man (RM) "So are you in the center of Bath or on the outskirts?"
Daddytwo (D) "Neither; we're nowhere near Bath! We're on the border of Somerset and Dorset, much further south".
RM; "Oh, the postcode confused me! Ok." (puts it in his Satnav) "Hm - this is telling me a town called *name of village we live in*"
D; "Yes, that's it. Brilliant."
RM; "Ok, let's get going then."
We got to the end of the road; RM; "Which way would you go from here? Left or right?"
D; "Oh, I'm not sure - we've only driven here twice in five years - I just follow the satnav mate."
RM; "Ok...oh, well I'll go left, head down the *names a road number that means nothing to us*"
D; "Just follow the satnav, it'll get us there easy enough."
And off we went. We were laughing and chatting to the kids in the back of the lorry, they were so excited, and by now we were warm and it had started feeling like an adventure again.
RM: "Which way would you go here?"
D; (slightly baffled) "Honestly mate, I've no idea, we don't know the area at all - I just followed our satnav to get here"
RM; (slightly baffled) "Ok...well I'll head this way then?"
D; "If that's what the satnav says?"
RM: "I don't really trust them Sir"
*we exchange a look"
D; "like I said, I don't know this area at all, only been here once before today, and I just followed the satnav all the way."
And off we went.
Now. Remember. We took about 90 minutes to drive from home to friend's house. We live nowhere near Bath. We'd said that, we'd given the postcode, he'd named our village, we'd said to follow the sat nav. What came next is BAFFLING.
We drove along motorways for ages. We know no motorways go anywhere NEAR our home. AT ALL.
D: "We've never been this route before..."
RM: "I'm just going to follow this to junction *something or other* then follow the *no idea what you're talking about road number* - I just need to get some fuel on the way"
We assumed he knew what he was talking about - he'd spoken to his boss as he set off for directions, AND had a sat nav with our address on it...
We got to the services he'd wanted to get fuel at. We looked up where we were on our own satnav app on my phone and wondered why he was going such a long way around. We queried it. He insisted he knew what he was doing and that we were only 40 minutes from home here. We knew we weren't and once more discussed THE SAT NAV. He repeatedly called us Sir and Ma'am and ignored us.
And the sat nav.
Then he drove to Bath.
Which we live nowhere near.
Daddytwo leaned forward as he was turning off the motorway to head into the centre of Bath. "Aren't you following the sat nav?"
RM: "Yeah, course I am...oh wait, that says to stay on this road...I'm confused now, how close to Bath are you again?"
D; "Nowhere near, we don't live in Bath..."
RM: "Why's it a Bath postcode then?"
D: "It's not - we're nowhere near Bath! It's in your satnav!"
RM (getting cross now) "which road is it from here then?"
D: "I have absolutely no idea! We don't live round here, I've never been here, maybe we should just trust the sat nav?"
RM: (noticeably irritated) "my boss said it was around here, I'm going to have to follow the satnav but it says we're over an hour away"
D; "yeah...we don't live near Bath?"
Now we started paying much closer attention to his driving and his satnav. He never dimmed his lights and often sped!
Which was fun!
Eventually, over three hours after setting off, we were on a main road that had the name of a village I knew was close, so I said to turn off...he ignored me! Luckily (?!) there was some kind of accident ahead and the road was closed. So obviously (on the duel carriageway) he did a three point turn and drove the wrong way (it's ok, there were no cars really, it was after midnight...) to the turnoff I'd suggested in the first place. Then ignored the satnav and took another long detour through some towns and villages with roads that he was too big to drive up.
Eventually we got home. EVENTUALLY. Close to four hours, for a 90 minute drive!
And he had a long lament about how he should have just followed the sat nav.
Then, as he was leaving, he said; "so do you think I should go back the same way, or take the *names a road number that means nothing to us* and see if that's quicker? I just want to get home - been up since six this morning."