The glorious driveway from hell strikes again


I explain why for three months I’ve been walking nearly a km between my house and my car each day. The driveway did it.

November was an exciting month.

An electrical storm knocked out our power for two days, broke our internet for a month, and washed out our driveway.

You remember the driveway. Eight hundred metres winding up a hill through native bush, home to quail, glow worms, New Zealand freshwater crayfish, and a rabbit called Nicholas Augustus.

But I was talking about November.

The driveway from hell

The lower section of our driveway, which winds along the side of a hill, is unsealed. There’s a very good reason for this: sealing is ridiculously expensive.

Like, why am I paying this for a driveway when the cost would build me a castle expensive. And I really want a castle.

The problem with an unsealed driveway is that in a fight between an unsealed driveway and rain that’s late for work, the rain always wins.

Even before November, the tyre tracks along the driveway looked like this.

Eroded river valley
Insert left tyre here. Try not to squash the tourists.

It made for an exciting trip to work.

November cometh

Then in November crazy amounts of water fell out of the sky, and for a while the tyre tracks looked like this.

River in flood
I hope Nicholas Augustus found somewhere dry to sit this out.

The rain took a breath.

The water receded.

Hubby and I became alarmed that the rain would start again and wash out the driveway so badly we wouldn’t be able to drive out to the road. This would make getting to work harder.

So we drove down the driveway at 2 km an hour while trying to avoid slipping into either of the Grand Canyons and abandoned the car on the roadside.

(It did rain more and we felt clever.)

The slip

Walking back up to the house, we noticed someone large and hungry had chomped the hill below the driveway.

I don’t begrudge giants their breakfast, but we were using that hill.

Did I mention below the slip is a very long tumble into a creek?

I’m no engineer, but I was concerned the driveway itself might be the next victim of the giant.

While I’m not a fan of a lot of humanity (hence living in the middle of nowhere), we thought it might be embarrassing if too much of humanity used our driveway and ended up in the creek.

So we “borrowed” some traffic cones from our neighbour and coned off our driveway.

If anyone decides to move the cones and use the driveway, any adverse consequences (such as taking up residence in the creek or being eaten by giants) will be entirely their fault.

Which brings us to today

The more observant among you might have noticed that November was three months ago.

No, we haven’t fixed the driveway yet.

We have a guy, we have a quote, and we finally have a date. Next week.

In the meantime, three months of walking up and down from the car have made me remarkably fit. I also have two new least favourite days: shopping day and rubbish day.

If all goes well, the week after next I will be able to drive the shopping right up to the front door. Wish me luck!

After three months not getting this fixed, I’m confident something else will go wrong. Any bets on what it’s going to be?

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Row of ducks

Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

10 thoughts on “The glorious driveway from hell strikes again”

  1. That lead image is breathtakingly glorious!! 😀 … aww, you’re so gonna miss those long power-walks though, aren’t you? 😀

    1. Yes, I love that image. Almost worth losing power for two days for.

      Haha, I am going to miss having to take those walks. I plan to keep taking them, but it’s always easier when you have no choice.

  2. Egad. But now I know where all the rain we didn’t have this winter went instead. I am sorry to hear you are undergoing a most wretched character-building experience, and I hope it ends soon (the exercise, not your character — may that continue happily ever after).

    1. Thank you. 🙂

      It’s Wednesday already and no sign of work starting, plus it’s started to rain… My character might still have weights to bench.

  3. Wow. I can’t even imagine. I live in suburbia, and my driveway is two car lengths to the street! We whine if we lose power for 15 minutes 🙂

    I suppose this is the downside to living in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

    1. To be fair, most of the whining in a power cut happens in the first fifteen minutes. Also, our hot water remained remarkably hot the whole time, so I didn’t even have to have a cold shower. 🙂

  4. How nice to see you back on your Blog again! I was wondering what happened to you during a long time silent! Now I know! 🙂 And what makes me happy is to see that you still have my Dragon and Castle painting up as header of you Blog! Well I can’t imagine what you had to deal with, and sure the long walks to the car did keep you fit! I love the first photo, and did you find out what happened to the rabbit? <3

    1. It’s so great to see you again! Yes, I love the painting you did for me and I plan to keep it as my header indefinitely. I see you’re still creating gorgeous art and sharing it with your fans.

      Fear not. Nicolas is alive and well, though once I did see him chased by a terrier. We wave at him in the mornings sometimes.

  5. Can I laugh? At least you have a sense of humor about the driveway saga and can appreciate the improved fitness. Though I agree with you that shopping day would be a challenge. My driveway is full of potholes, but at least, I can still drive on it, or around it sort of. I hope all goes well with the repairs. 🙂

    1. Of course you can laugh. I do because the whole thing is so ridiculous. How did we fail to get it fixed for three months?

      The good news is that our guy started work on it yesterday, so I’m hoping by the weekend we’ll be able to drive all the way to the house (which will be a relief, because we really need shopping).

      We had potholes for a long time, then they all sort of joined up. I hope your potholes behave themselves and remain self-contained.

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