Linda Hoyle
The Van
The Van

Did I tell you about the Floral Clock? Did I? Maybe I mentioned it. Anyway, pour me a glass of wine . . . . white please. I know my feet shouldn't be on the table, but it's comfortable.

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it wasn't, but the band was so exhausted that it felt that way. Those terrifying hours between 2 and 4 in the morning, not night, not day, found us in our Ford Transit somewhere between Nice and Paris, or Paris and Calais.
Nobody's brain works well in those witching hours, and certainly not our hard worked drummer's. Grant's a good driver, but doing double duty is tough even for the young. Our six wheel van, grey as the trees, dieseled it's way along the right hand side of the road, steering wheel curbside. We dozed. Maybe Grant did too. We vaguely knew where we were in time and space, though we might not have liked it much.
Then, from out of nowhere, looms a roundabout. Not any old roundabout. A substantial, unsignposted, horticultural, French roundabout.
It's at this point that the brain fuses. The only neural cylinders firing are primitive. "Left or right . . . . left or right, for fuck's sake!!!" There is a total lack of advice from the rest of the band, who hardly know where their own legs are, let alone a sane brain.But Grant's makes it's own executive, emergency decision. We rip, at speed, through the manicured centre, sending chrysanthemums flying in all directions, white,yellow and brown in the headlights.
In seconds we have left behind a decimated Floral Clock, the pride and joy of the local populace, thick tire tracks printing our rude British Youth comment on its face.
We stayed awake for the rest of the journey.

Pour me another glass of wine. Make it French.