Juddering my way back from Penrith

Hubby had to take our 4×4 to Newbiggin, just outside Penrith, today for a service, and I decided to go for the ride. I wanted to visit Penrith Library as the local libraries are much smaller with fewer books to select from. Penrith Library, on the other hand, seems almost vast by comparison.

It was not a good day to travel today. There was light rain to begin with, but the roads slowly became more waterlogged and by the time we were driving home to Bowness-on-Windermere, water was splashing wildly under the wheels of vehicles both large and small, whilst the heavens opened to complete the symphony. Still, on on the whole, it was not bad driving the 45 minutes to Penrith. The only bee in the bonnet was having to trail a car driven at 30 miles an hour – half the speed limit – on a windy dual carriageway unsuitable for overtaking.

I asked Hubby to drop me off at the library just before he went to the garage. Approximately 40 minutes later, he returned and I went out to find a tiny car parked on the main road. I am not a large person but, even so, sitting in the front, I could see that there was precious little space left for any backseat passengers. Hubby, who has one foot on me, could not get comfortable, as the seat could not be adjusted up or down.

Penrith, where Hubby dropped me off to visit the library. (Photo courtesy of news.bbc.co.uk.)

Once buckled in, it was off onto the M6 for our journey back to Blenheim Lodge. This was the rush hour period, although the roads were not too busy. Having been used to travelling at 70 miles per hour as a general rule of thumb on motorways, Hubby and I now found ourselves quite unable to get beyond 60 miles per hour because the little car simply did not have the torque. Meanwhile, the vehicles in front of us had dropped back to a crawling pace of 40-50 miles per hour.

Then I saw a tiny car trundle past us and overtake the truck ahead. Hubby took inspiration from that. Having no acceleration in 5th gear, he shifted down to 4th, revved up the engine a little, and prepared to move into the faster middle lane in order to overtake the slow moving truck. So far so good. Thus the pattern continued.

Heavy rainfall was pummelling down from black night skies as we continued our way along the M6. As the little car moved along the slow lane, I could feel the uneven road under us. The car began to judder and the sound was so loud, it was like being back in our beloved Land Rover 90 – our very first vehicle together. The 3-seater 90 is no longer with us – we part exchanged it for a family Volvo when our second child arrived – but we have fond memories of it despite the loud diesel roar of the engine. Often, we had to converse at the top of our voices while on the road in order to hear what the other was saying.

Our courtesy car, although a midget compared to the 90, suddenly reminded me of the latter when the juddering grew so loud that I could hardly hear myself think! I could hardly believe that a nearly new car built with 21st century advanced technology could vibrate so much as to make such a din! I don’t think Hubby and I would ever buy a tiny car after this experience.

We finally reached Blenheim Lodge a little before 6 pm, and I am already looking forward to having our serviced 4X4 ready for pick up tomorrow. Hubby will drive over in the courtesy car to get it, but I will not be accompanying him. Instead, I will stay at home to complete all those administrative duties which have yet to be done. And, perhaps, I will also delve into one of the books I borrowed today.

Blenheim Lodge, a beautifully refurbished guesthouse in Windermere.

Glad to reach home after a juddering ride! Here is Blenheim Lodge, our Bed and Breakfast, nestling peacefully against woodlands and boasting panoramic Lake Windermere views, only a 5-minute walk to the village centre and pier.

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com

Email: enquiries@blenheim-lodge.com

Phone: 00 44 (0)15394 43440


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