There are 3 roads out of my village. I tried my normal one. Fine for the first few hundred yards and then a queue. A long one. The sort where cars are pulling 3-point turns and coming back. I wind down my window and catch one of the retreating vans. There are cars stuck in the snow on a hill and there’s no way through. One down, two to go.

The second road is still going in roughly the right direction but in a roundabout way. It’s also more countryfied and a bit of a gamble, but my options are decreasing.

Whaddya know – I make it through Aston village, past the middle-aged lady in her marooned Clio and make it as far as Stevenage city limits. Civilisation (of a sort). A false dawn. Having made a stop at Sainsbury’s for petrol, chocolate and ‘comfort’ I return to the main road to face complete gridlock. A passing pedestrian happily tells me of the jack-knifed lorry that’s the cause of it all. No joy that way – let’s try the opposite way. Almost as slow. I check my watch; it’s been an hour and 45 minutes since I set off and I’m roughly 3 miles from where I started. Never mind what the trains have in store for me, even if I make it to the station.

Coming back through Aston with my exhaust between my rear wheels...

Coming back through Aston with my exhaust between my rear wheels...

I make a decision. Cut my losses. Go back to the house. Have a cup of tea. Work from home. Struggle up the steep hill, passed the now-abandoned Clio, back the way I came. I’m sliding more laterally than forwards, alarming oncoming traffic but making progress. Slowly.

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