I’m currently mid way through an epic voyage, a journey from northern borders to southern seas, via London and back again.
I’ve spent a lot of time at the wheel having now been the unfortunate owner of increasingly less stylish cars for 10 years, and I’ve driven thousands and thousands of miles, most of them alone.
I actually kinda love driving alone so here are my top tips for not going loco on your solo!
- Make sure your car is clean before you set off. Empty out all the detritus from the cup holders, pockets, footwells, seats, air vents, parcel shelf. I obviously choose to ignore this and prefer to be surrounded by mounds of of Costa cups, dog hair and secreted Yorkie bar wrappers.
- Are you sitting comfortably? I don’t mean buy one of those beaded wooden chair things that creepy taxi drivers and your weird uncle Graham has to stop his back sweating, just make sure your trousers don’t cut into your fat rolls. Leggings and or pyjamas are highly recommended.
- Make sure you have installed a suitable holder for your phone, which I’m going to assume doubles as your sat nav. And please make sure it’s secured because trust me, your new iPhone nearly flying out of the open window during your second circuit of the roundabout is not. the. one.
- Get your audio entertainment organised, and be varied. I never embark on a long journey without three downloaded Spotify playlists, Harry Potter on Audible, Adele in the CD player, the latest omnibus of The Archers on the iPlayer radio app and your radio fully tuned.
- Buy fuel. This makes your car go. I know the fuelling process is stressful, smelly, cold and expensive but persevere. You can also buy all your car snacks at twice the price of the supermarket when you go to pay.
- Buy far more food than is acceptable to consume because, don’t forget, you’re on your own so there’s no one to judge you.
- Eat all the snacks you’ve bought within 10 minutes of leaving the garage.
- If you become tired it is very important to stop for a sleep. I prefer to do this in random lay-bys or side streets, the dodgier looking the better. Be sure to set an alarm if you are prone to three-hour long naps. And lock your doors.
- Phone a friend (on a hands-free device, obviously Officer). They particularly like it if you haven’t got anything to say other than moaning about the length of your journey, the traffic, the arsehole that just cut you up or the exact number of hours sleep you had before setting off on this journey. Under no circumstances should you allow them to return to the important task they were in the middle of. They will share your pain.
- Stay hydrated by purchasing astronomically priced designer coffees at those abhorrent Starbucks drive-thrus that now exist in motorway service station car parks for absolutely no reason whatsoever. If you’ve been driving long enough to need to stop for caffeine, you’ve been sitting down for too long and surely you’ll have lost feeling in your arse. Get up. DVT is no joke.
- Sing and dance to Taylor Swift at the top of your voice. Bonus points if a lorry driver catches you and honks his horn, causing you to shit yourself and swerve violently into the hard shoulder.
- If there will be people at your destination, make sure you wipe all the croissant and crisp crumbs from your face and clothing. You want to present as a functioning adult human. If you won’t be seeing anyone then please crack on with wallowing in your own filth. I’m not your mum.