Spending 11 days in Newcastle with the parents was an interesting experience.
What made it even more interesting was the fact that of the 11 days I found myself in Newcastle, it was raining for 11 days. By the end of my stay, the feeling of cabin fever was more than overtaking me. Being unable to go to the beach, being unable to go for a run, being unable to really even go outside.... there's something incredibly unsatisfying moving from one inside location to another by car. Whilst you may be in a new place, it still feels as though you are trapped and unable to get out.
Finally, my time came to an end though, and I began my trip back to Sydney.
The road works between Sydney and Newcastle have been completed and so the trip is now an easy one. There is little in the way of distractions and there are clear landmarks that help to notify you of just how far into the journey you are. It's a journey I've done numerous times now with no incident.
That should have alerted me. I had had it far too easy.
On this occassion, a little bit out of Sydney, just after Gosford, it was my time to come to grief. Driving along, I suddenly lost power and I found myself losing control. Luckily, I was able to pull my car to the side of the road. Unluckily for me, it was at a part of the road that did not have a shoulder, and so I found my car perched precariously between the deep storm water gutters and the left hand lane of traffic.
Getting out of the car, I quickly found out the problem. My right rear tyre had exploded. So badly in fact that the tread had become completely separated from the side wall. I came disturbingly close to some serious damage and harm it seems. After jacking up my car, I steeled myself to walk into the left hand lane of traffic to change the tyre.... I quickly lost my metal when the first semi-trailer screamed past at 110kph. I made the wiser decision of calling roadside assistance, who sent a truck to drag me to safety where I was able to change my tyre in peace and safety.
The tyre is finished. Completely destroyed. It's a good indication to me that I probaably need some new tyres on all my wheels.
Either way, what a way to bring in the new year....