Sooooo, the plot of 'PTA' can and does occur in real life! I have been in Canada all week in what has been described as freak weather conditions and the coldest at this time of year for 15 years. On Saturday with windchill it was 18 below, and so I wasn't too optimistic for my journey back yesterday. I had an internal flight to Toronto and then to Frankfurt and finally Birmingham to arrive this morning at 8am. Sure enough, the internal flight was cancelled, but if I left early, I would have made my transatlantic flight at 5.35pm. This other couple staying in my hotel were driving back home to Toronto (about 3 hrs), and so offered me a lift. As we left at 10.30, 'no problem' I thought. About an hour later, the car broke down, terminally. Oil was pouring out of the engine block, and the engine was dry. It was when I was lying on my back under a jacked up car, on a flyover of the 401 highway, with my feet in a snowdrift at 10 below in a snowstorm that I realised things had gone a bit wrong. After vising 4 garages, none of which were open/able to fix the car, we abandoned it in Napanee (on third of the way to toronto), took a taxi to Belleville (which also has a railway station), and then rented a car there at the last place we tried - all the other car rental places were closed or had no cars. So I arrived at Toronto at 5.35pm, just as my flight left. I managed to get on the 8.00 to Heathrow, then I took a bus up to Birmingham International to get my car, eventually getting home 4 hours after I should have done, which, given the circumstances isn't so bad. So here are all the planes, trains and automobiles, not forgetting the useless jobsworth tossers employed by Canadian big business and transport authorities in customer facing roles; and their crappy call centres: Air Canada 7369 Kingston - Toronto, cancelled. 2 trains (contemplated, not actual) 1 broken car 1 taxi Air Canada 848 Toronto to Heathrow 4 auto repair shops (including canadian tire and walmart) 1 policewoman (in a car) 4 car rental places 2 new oil filters 1 air canada call centre and its rubbish ACD which kept me on hold for half an hour 1 booking agent's 'emergency' line which didn't call back or give a toss my other half and his laptop/phone in the UK *obviously more helpful than anyone else put together* countless jobsworths who work for air canada, lufthansa or canadian tire 1 national express bus My car Brendan and Eva (mortified car owners) Hrrrrrrmph!!!!