Oslo to Stockholm..

What a great concert – I slept like a log. I dozed off just as the show went up.

Later, dimly aware of cannons firing, signalling the end of the gig, my alarm went off. Hearing intact, the truck bed was possibly the best seat at the venue.

The Black Ice World Tour is a pertinent title given the road conditions last night. The treacherous skating rink, posing as an international route between Scandinavian capitals, was not only slippery but heart-stoppingly twisty. And dark.

After half an hour, at 1.30am, driving on what might as well be a sheet of glass, we passed a signpost marked, ‘Stockholm 522kms.’ Oh joy. This job would be perfect if it wasn’t for all the driving…and loud music.

The road surface was a sea of black and white, neither colour providing any safety; they’re both ice. Namibian, using his “spaznav” navigational aid, radioed me. ‘There’s a roundabout in thirty kilometres.’ Well, whoop-dee-doo, I’m enthralled.

He was only trying to help, but it removes the skill out of driving, don’t you think? Somewhere underneath the treachery was a rumble strip but it was invisible.

Proceeding gingerly at the outset, I decided, on balance, that we might just as well go flat out, breath held and eyes occasionally closed if conditions looked really bad. All we needed  was an elk to saunter across the road, causing the trailer to overtake the cab – “jackknife“, we call it.

One didn’t, but one of my favourite accident quotes is when ringing the office to call in a broken wing-mirror. They say something like: ‘just buy another one.’ Then you have to explain that there’s been a misunderstanding – the truck is resting on the mirror.

Poor old Namibian. They’ve changed his truck pack of lights. ‘Now there’s a load of crap in the back,’ he told me over the radio, wheelspinning up an icy hill. Jolly frightening stuff, I expect, to a chap who’s used to  African sand dunes…