Holidays on the Road – Travel blogger Monica Stott on driving home for the holidays.

Monica Stott

A travel blogger and writer with a love for weekend breaks. Monica has a young family so will be spending 2017 exploring the UK. She loves the outdoors and loves nothing more than getting out and about with her camera. 

Published

Date (19/12/2016)

Travel blogger Monica Stott on driving home for the holidays.

The first thing I do after scraping the ice off my windscreen is peel off my padded coat. This is going to be a long drive and I definitely want to ‘feel the benefit’ when I get out of the car at the other end.

I climb into my car and crank up the heat. It’s -3 outside, but inside it’s so hot it might as well be Barbados, minus the shades and bikini of course. It’s nearly Christmas and after clock-watching at work all day, I’m finally beginning the annual pilgrimage home for the holidays.

At first I make good time, heading south out of London towards what I like to call ‘The Shire’ – my childhood home with its creaky floorboards and so much outside space you could fit my poky London flat in it a hundred times over. The radio is up and Mariah is singing about what she’d like for Christmas. I entertain myself by adding in my own list.

“All I want for Christmas is a Parrot BeBop Drone…

…. A nice scarf and gloves

…. A big glass of wine.”

It doesn’t really fit but I chuckle to myself and attract a few funny looks from other travellers. The traffic is beginning to thicken now and I’m finding myself using the brake a lot more than I would like.

I feel my shoulders tense and let out a huge sigh. I really hoped this year would be different.

Soon enough, along with Santa scoffing all of the mince pies and your grandpa getting drunk and falling over, another Christmas tradition presents itself: the gridlock that is the M25. Millions of stressed-out Londoners circling the city like some kind of mad beehive, but ultimately going nowhere.

I feel my shoulders tense and let out a huge sigh. I really hoped this year would be different.

It’s started to snow now. Lightly at first, but now I’m struggling to see ten cars in front of me. I look around and manage a half-smile at a 5 year old who looks like he’s about to cry. Yep, that’s done it. He’s crying and his parents are looking at me like I just walked over and hit him, not tried to spread a little Christmas cheer.

I look in my rear-view mirror and catch the eye of a rather scrumptious man dressed in a red suit with a white beard hanging loosely around his neck and think to myself, ‘well, if Santa can’t move this traffic then what chance do I have?’

Just then the throaty sounds of Chris Rea singing ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ come on the radio and the traffic begins to nudge forward. My mood lifts and I picture the red lights of the cars in front becoming a string of Christmas lights.

Bundling my coat back on I make the dash to the front door where my mum is already waiting for me with a Snowball.

Chris is most definitely a good omen and I soon find myself finally getting out of second gear and I’m well and truly ‘driving home for Christmas’. I gain speed, watching the snowflakes drift towards my windscreen but then have a change of heart at the last minute and never quite land. Why is that?

And before I know it, I’ve arrived at The Shire. Bundling my coat back on I make the dash to the front door where my mum is already waiting for me with a Snowball (the alcoholic kind). Some things never change, do they?