Christmas is coming… had you noticed? And so many people, in the words of Chris Rea, will be ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ (come on – you know you started singing it as soon as you saw the title…).
And whilst we know that the big family get-togethers are filled with warmth and hugs and laughter (and perpetual childhood bickering…), if you step away from the end point there’s possibly a couple of hundred miles between where you are now, and where you will be then.
And that travel bit isn’t something to be ignored, is it? As a family of six, simply getting us all into one car is no mean feat. Keeping us, our luggage and the dog safe, entertained and fed & watered for a couple of hundred miles is always a proud parenting moment for me.
I just cannot imagine setting out on a journey without planning ahead and making provision for various emergencies… (Water bottles? Check. Extra snacks? Check. Warm blanket? Check. Surprise Things-To-Do for smaller people to bring out in case of traffic jams? Check.)
But I admit that I tend to leave the actual technical stuff of the car itself to the husband. Which is shockingly lazy and slack and traditional of me, I know, but I am aware that Things Get Done that make it nice and safe and reliable, so it’s not like I’m not thinking about them. I do KNOW that a car needs attention, particularly in bad weather – we did, after all, grow up in an era when your Dad used to fix the car – no one needed a garage with a computer, Dad used to lift the bonnet and dip sticks and pour in water and kick tyres and suchlike (#NotACarPerson)…
But I’m always surprised at how many people will be unprepared for a journey that can be several hundred miles long. At other times of year this may have less of an impact but you know what long journeys on UK roads can be like in any weather – potential hold ups and traffic jams, roadworks, delays etc. Add in the unpredictable December weather and you can throw floods, sleet, snow or high winds into the mix too. . . Then there’s the stress about Christmas itself, and of course being with family for long periods…
So this post from Halfords on the top 6 car checks you need to make this Christmas is really timely, and very handy indeed. I fully intend to wow the husband with my car-prepping skills this year – and challenge him to prep the inside instead (I suspect he’ll win. He’s far more organised than I am…)
(I also noticed when I was reading it that Halfords offer a FREE 5 point car health check in the winter, which is perfect for anyone not confident in checking over their own car *cough* Pass it off as your own work and wow everyone else *cough*)