Cambridge University is ancient, beautiful and verging on mystical. it’s a tiny city of charm and character that’s unsurpassed anywhere else in this world. It’s also term-time home to my younger son. He’d invited me and Ben to join him on Thursday for the annual, and extremely popular, Harry Potter dinner. It was a fantastic evening that even JK Rowling would have been proud to attend.
The students are used to candlelit meals in the great hall, but it’s not a regular Thursday occurrence for me to be waited on in sparkling dimness with red wine flowing and white owls flying overhead. (Should be!!)
We nearly didn’t make it to the dinner, or to the rest of our lives… Our tyre dramatically blew out at 70mph in the middle lane of the M11. I don’t think I’d have been able to control the car if I was driving, but Ben’s strong – and calm. His years of pounding muscles in the boxing ring paid off, and he masterfully swerved the car to the relative safety of the hard shoulder.
40 minutes waiting in a ditch in black patent high heels and a chiffon evening dress is not time well spent. My witches’ hat remained in the car, keeping the back seat warm while our heads froze; the bitter wind whipping along the motorway and swirling towards the fields beyond. It was too cold to even tweet! I thought about venturing back to claim my hat but couldn’t risk a gust taking it flying along the highway– imagine that on the news reports!
Having posted our ordeal on Facebook, my phone started pinging with offers of rescue. One of my Facebook friends drove past on his way north and spotted me shivering in the ditch. He called to say he’d come back for me, but help was already at hand. He also offered to drive me to Cambridge – a favour that wasn’t needed in the end, but thank you very much Paul.
The RAC man was less friendly but very professional and efficient. Tyre changed, we made our way slowly to the magical dinner, slightly dishevelled but happy to be back on track.
A near death experience really makes you contemplate life. It’s never too late to do the things you want to do. I always say that anyway, but I made certain decisions in that smelly ditch that I have implemented already. One was to repaint my bathroom in shocking pink…
Many people have asked if we were saved by a magic spell or angels – or was it simply Ben’s excellent driving? As Barry Manilow and Robbie both told us, ‘Spirits move me, every time I’m near you, whirling like a cyclone in my mind. You’re my life line, angel of my lifetime, answer to all answers I can find.’
Could it be magic? Who knows?! But I do know this… if you’re looking for answers – particularly with regard to helping your business grow, you can always ask me here: @WeekendWitch.