Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lydia's a Lean Mean Driving Machine

Last week Lydia's kids (seven year old twins called Lily and Rose) were off school so she was round every five minutes with them because they were doing her head in. My daughter Emily who is three worships them and was happy to play teachers and pupils in her room with them while Lydia rambled on about how she needs a new career and that she's thinking of becoming a life coach even though I can't think of anyone who's life is more off track.

Then, last Thursday morning Lydia pops round with the twins who were dressed in matching sailor suit type dresses and tells me she's off for the day to Margate. I thought, great, a bit of relief from her rabbiting but unfortunately, no, she wanted me to drive her since her car was in the shop being worked on. I live with my boyfriend Greg but he's away for work at the moment so I can't even use him as an excuse to not get involved in her hairbrained schemes. I mean Lydia is quite funny, don't get me wrong. I just didn't want to go to Margate with her. But Emily immediately started begging me to go so I caved.

I start driving my car with Lydia directing me every second of the way while she was talking to the man fixing her car on her mobile.

"So you say I need new brakes? Six hundred quid. You are joking! Well actually maybe I do need them, every time I break right now it sounds like a sow giving birth." Honking laughter.

I can attest to that - it's true, her brakes do sound like a pig birthing a litter of twelve.

Suddenly she grabs my wheel and starts yanking it right. "Rox turn! You want to turn NOW!"

"Flipping hell Lydia!" I say, narrowly avoiding mounting the curb. In the end it was easier to let Lydia drive.

So Lydia drove the rest of the way to Margate, or at least attempted to. But after only about half an hour she started to panic.

"Have you ever had trouble with your brakes?" she says.

I turn down the Justin Bieber blaring out the radio and perforating my eardrums.

"No I haven't, why?"

"Because I'm having trouble braking. I press my foot down and nothing happens until a few seconds later."

"Turn up Bieber!" screeches Rose.

"Me want Beaver!" parrots Emily.

I try and ignore Lydia who's going on about the brakes not working. Until she literally rolls right through a red light while stomping on the brakes.

Lydia is hyperventilating. I feel totally numb which is a bit wierd considering we almost got killed.
"I'm telling you your brakes don't work!" she says.

"But I've never had any trouble with them."

As luck would have it we pull off the road to an auto repair shop and after Lydia raves at them, begging them for a service, they say they'll have a look at it.

So now what? What are we meant to do to entertain the kids?

We end up in a roadside caff because there's nothing else around. The kids order chips and squirt them and themselves with ketchup.

I order a chicken panini which, when it arrives, contains some kind of liquid cheese and some chicken the shade of a dead man's skin. It also reeks of dead man's armpit.

"Oh my God," I say, trying not to spit it back on my plate.

"What is it?"

"This is salmonella on a plate, that's what." I took all the meat off the ciabatta because it was inedible and tried to eat that but it was infused with the disgusting flavour so it was no go.

On the way out the girl on the till asks me if everything was okay.

"Well no, the chicken was wierd."

"It was turkey."

"Really? Anyway it was off."

So she gets on the phone to the kitchen "Check your turkey," she says. "There might be something wrong with it." Yeah like maybe it's left over from the Christmas buffet!

Narrowly avoiding death by rancid turkey we go back to the auto place and I pay a bill for
£80. They say there were air bubbles in the brake fluid but that they've bled the brakes and they are now working okay.
I decide I'll drive now, and - get this - all the way to Margate there is not a blinking thing wrong with the brakes. I'm beginning to think Lydia might be stark raving mad.

Three hours after leaving London we arrive in Margate and the kids were happy enough scrambling about on the beach while I pop a couple of aspirins and lie down on the sand pretending to be asleep while Lydia changes into a thong bikini and prances about, showing off her rock hard abs and limbs the colour of sinewy roast chicken.

But on the way home Lydia drives the end bit and it's the same story. She starts saying the brakes don't work but I'm tired of listening to her. I bid her goodnight outside my house and then I notice that when she parks the car she doesn't even put on the brake. It's then I realise:


I don't say anything.

What could I say? That she is a moron?

Maybe that's why the brakes on her car are ruined - because she's ridden them into the ground.

"Thanks for a lovely day!" she cries, bundling out the twins. "We must do this again soon!"

"Absolutely!" Not unless hell freezes over first.

"And get your brakes checked out!" she calls out.

"Will do."

So all in all a great day out. Lydia's buggered my brakes and I narrowly avoided death by turkey.


  1. Please tell me that Lydia is a woman of leisure and doesn't work with anything remotely mechanical / electrical or alchemical... the safety of the world could be at stake here.

  2. That's what I call living on the edge!! Well done for surviving x

  3. Never mind the brakes. WTF are you doing going to Margate of all places?


    LCM x

  4. London City Mum....Margate? God knows, Lydia fancied it!

  5. Steve...Yeah you'll be glad to know Lydia has never operated a fork lift truck. She did once attempt to use an electric tin opener though - as far as I know she managed to open the tin of peaches. I wouldn't trust her with a mower though ....could get very Fargo if you know what I mean!

  6. "me want beaver" your so funny...haha. This Lydia character sounds like a riot. Lydia the Life Coach

  7. Lol! Remind me not to visit Lydia if I ever need therapy. Glad you're alive though, I'd miss your sense of humour brightening my day.

    Ps why was my captcha code 'minger'?

  8. I would throw her in front of my car :(

  9. Hysterical! I particularly loved your expression "sound like a pig birthing a litter of twelve". x

  10. This made me lol.

    Thanx for sharing!


  11. Hahaha! Driving with my mum the other day she pulls over saying "there's a warning light on the dash, I don't know what's wrong!!!" ... was the handbrake light - she doesn't know what the different light shapes mean :P

  12. Stop, go, no turn here. Wait.....whew, I'm tired of back seat driving.

    Thanks for commenting and following me. :)

  13. Glad you arrived back safe & sound!
    I would have had to say something...... but you are obviously a very nice person!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  14. Haha!! Oh please tell me if this lady does end up making it as a life coach. Surely that's a reality television show right there.
    You write so well. So entertaining!!
    Haha!! That was gold.

  15. Romina Garcia....Maybe Lydia could become a Life Coach - the stories she'd have to tell would be too funny, or, hang on maybe she could become a Driving Instructor?

    Maggie May....Yeah I am probably too nice ...or a total coward. Basically a Mug!

  16. Oh my goodness, my cheeks hurt! Too funny! I hope you got those brakes fixed!

    Thank you for stopping by and participating in the Get Wired Blog Hop. I am following you. Have a great day!


  17. Happy Wednesday! I am a new follower from the blog hop and I look forward to following

    your blog!...Hope u can come by for a visit!

  18. You're hysterical and thank you for leaving a comment in my blog. I love love your photos.

  19. Sailor suits, food poisoning and near death experience at the hands of a useless life coach. Sounds like a thrilling weekend!

  20. Heather...I forgot to say she was also fiddling around with her thong the whole time while she was driving and talking on the phone, saying it was 'lodged up her crack.' We are damn lucky to still be alive!

  21. What can I tell you, I liked your tale. Not everybody can say he/she escaped death twice in one day. The positive of an experience like this is that you have a story to tell ;) All this is fodder for the writer.

  22. Phew! glad you survived all of that!
    I was exhausted just reading!