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Driving in the snow

It was the night before New Years' Eve 2000, snow had been falling for a few hours and had gradually become heavier. I was staying with a group of friends at a log cabin in the North York Moors, having only the intention of staying one night.

We decided to go to the local pub in a near by village; all was cosey until I began to notice how much the snow was falling outside - I became concerned.

When we finally decided to leave there was a good blanket of snow over everything - including the cars. My Beetle was white over, I needed to wipe the snow from all the windows before I could even think of setting off. My friends' car was also covered, and as I drove past it in the pub car park one of my passengers said "Has he gone already? I thought he had a red car" to which I replied "That's his car there, under all the snow!"

Within minutes the windows were covered with snow again, so the only vision I had was out of the portholes created by the somewhat underpowered windscreen wipers. I tested the accelerator - slippy, I tested the brakes - even slippier! This was going to be a ride to remember!

The road to the log cabin was a long and twisty single track country road which went up and down with the gradient of the hills, with snow drifts developing at either side and no evidence of a gritter yet.

I didn't get above 20 mph, or out of second gear. I daren't, and a good job too! Suddenly, just as I was driving over the brow of a small but steep hill, a car appeared out of the blizzard coming the other way; having very little brake power and starting down hill I skidded a little, and only just managed to stop the car at the side of the road to allow the somewhat optimistic motorist to slide his way up the steep hill and past me.

Apart from negotiating a snow drift at a junction, the rest of the trip was quite uneventful; the fact that the heating is so poor and it was quite a cold evening probably put off my passengers from getting in a beetle during the winter months ever again, but I enjoyed it anyway! My friend didn't turn up for another fifteen minutes or more, which was a shame as he had the key to the cabin!