It's late on a Saturday night in January, I've just had dinner and I'm in a relaxed but productive mood - I'd say there's no better time for a blog!
We start on the 20th January, directly following the previous blog and the Sebring GT3 Challenge.
Despite Daytona literally being less than 3 days away, my friends ask to meet up (or asked to meet up beforehand) and since I haven't seen them since 2021, I agree.
After a but of "umming and arrr-ing" at which ferry to take over, I decide to take the 06:20am one from Yarmouth to Lymington - my first time off the Island & in the car since 2021 - and indeed since arriving (me and my dad did go to the co-op
once on one of our first days)
The plan was to get to Essex at about 8/9am and seize the day/make the most of it as they wanted to move some stuff from their two houses - meaning a fairly long day of action & activity.
Upon leaving (my parents house) at about 05:30am or so, every time I pressed the brake pedal, the car would make a thumping noise on the brakes (not loud, but noticeable)
During the ferry journey over, I'd book a slot at Lymington Halfords (for a "free repairs check") to see if they could have a look at what the matter was.
I know I probably over-react at every tiny issue my car has (engine lights, punctures, brakes etc.) but I both A) don't want to die and B) Probably don't look after my car as much as I should - I use it for car-y things and aside from that, I live my daily life without much care of it - which is probably the wrong thing to do...but such is life.
Eventually the sun began to rise and 08:00 came...Annnnnd it turns out they had a COVID Outbreak there and they had to shut for the day.
I'd later phone other Halfords nearby, but they too were incredibly busy and could only book the car in for weeks to come.
Ironically, the only place which WAS available was the Halfords on the Isle Of Wight...the least convenient of all options!
Whilst driving back towards Yarmouth port, I noticed the sound had gone. I quickly pulled up into a bus-stop (bad-ass, I know right!), informed my parents that I didn't need the ferry over (today) and proceeded to drive up to Essex.
(I had no idea if the problem had resolved itself, I just assumed that because there was no more noise, that it would be fine for the time being)
By the time I got there, it was already beginning to get late - I arrived at 3pm and spent the night chilling at House A.
That night, I slept on a recliner (chair) - yet another addition to my growing list of "Weirdest Places I've Spent The Night" - the boot of Kiara currently topping the list - but as life goes on, I'm very much certain that others will top the list!
At about 10:00/12:00 we eventually got our bottoms moving - the first port of call being House B - sorting through what would stay at B, what could be thrown and what could be taken to the other house.
After everything throughout the day was sorted - I eventually said goodbye to those who I spent Thursday and Friday with, and hit the road again.
After a quick trip to Smyth's (needed to add the 460th Land Rover Discovery to my collection) I noticed I'd have a problem - I wasn't going to make it to/through the car-wash and back to Lymington in time for my ferry. So I removed the car-wash from my route and hit the loud pedal.
You're meant to arrive at the port 30 minutes before the boat arrives/your allocated ferry (to allow time for registering the vehicle/sign in) and at best it was looking like I'd get there with 20 minutes to go - and then I took two wrong turnings...Fuck.
I eventually sped into the port with four minutes to 8pm. (Kiara maxing out at 31mph on the motorway - JK)
The ship closed it's doors/ramps just two minutes after I boarded - had I arrived just 120 seconds later, I could have been absolutely FUCKED (as I had the Daytona 24 Hours the following day - and arriving with just a couple of hours before the race would NOT have looked good!
In fact, had I arrived just 60 seconds/1 minute later - it could have been anywhere between 1 - 60 seconds before they completely closed up the boat!
The first thing I did as I boarded the boat was call my dad and tell him I made it - now I'm not a religious guy - I'm agnostic so I'm a floating bouy in the English Channel of religion and not - but the chances of me making that were so FUCKING slim, I could have had some External help - all it would take to not make it was an extra set of traffic lights - an accident, breakdown even a sodding LEARNER DRIVER!
I just hope they didn't WAIT for me.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, we are just waiting for one more (incapable) passenger, he'll be arriving in a Blue Kia Venga - if you look to the rear of the ship, you'll see him make quite the adventurous entry.
Once he boards, I ask you all to PLEASE sit down and act like nothing has happened, from all of us at Wightlink, we thank you, apologise for the delay and applaud Mr Truswell for not flying into the Solent"
Okay, maybe I'm over exaggerating, maybe it would have all been okay and my dad would have paid for a hotel for the night - but I saved my dad from having to pay that, and I saved myself from having to awkwardly explain that "I'm kinda not ready guys"...
Let me just say this, had I been driving regularly I would have missed that boat by a country mile - so a MASSIVE big-up Kiara for having a "I'M IN A FUCKING HURRY AND I'M GOING TO MISS THE BOAT!!!" mode....
After catching my breath back, I pulled out my laptop...and either I wrote a bit of the blog or it was dead - it's usually either one of the two.
As we arrived on the Isle Of Wight, I thanked those on the boat for not sailing off without me (my GOD was seeing the ship still there at 19:56 a sight to behold!).
I calmly drove off the ship and straight into the Icy Cold Solent. What a waste of a 110mph speed-run
"I shortly woke up to find the ship empty, and me and only me heading back (all by myself to Lymington"
I wrote in Blog for comic relief.
I calmly drove off the ship (not into the Solent...this time) and had a calm drive home I had made it back onto the Island and I had made it back home - the best part was that there was still over an HOUR until the very first time-slot headed off for the Daytona 24 Hours. PERFECT.
And on that beautiful and well-timed ending, I must board jump into the recovery truck as my car has been retrieved from the Solent. Until next time!