Ware, United Kingdom
Many things to do. Not many of them being done, in honesty.
After being quite drunk on Monday night with Marianne I avoided getting too drunk on Tuesday night with Sarah. “A girl friend?” mum had asked, or possibly, “a girlfriend?”-she refused subtitles-and I’d answered “a friend who is a girl, anyway”. I digress.
As you know, if you’ve read much of this. Wednesday started off none too painfully, at any rate, albeit with the ‘stressing me’ factor of having to get rid of my car. A self imposed deadline, I’m sure I could have left the car in the drive, but it would be in the way and, even more importantly, in e way to no good effect. If I don’t come back before the end of October, it would have had no tax or mot, I’d have had to fill in an SORN remotely and then do something with a car that was no longer road legal. Plus three months of insurance and tax would have run out when they might have been nestling in a bank account (that’s not how you spell ‘foreign bar’, ed). This was a car with no exhaust end, squidge brakes, a slow puncture on the left front tyre, lights that don’t give out the recommended amount of light, a cam belt way beyond the recommended schedule for replacement and with no servicing for three years.
Writing all that, I remember why I’d not expected it to make it round Ireland. Perhaps I should have warned my hitchhikers, used some kind of waiver to be signed on entry. Maybe not for Useless Patrick, he would have just asked if signing the waiver would bring him any nearer to a bog. I rang B&T motor services, nearby in Cole Green, and the harassed manager there said yep, if you can bring it in, we’ve too many jobs. It’ll be £140. Being a noob, and one whose opinion of his car had changed from “ha, magic car now does 500 miles on a tank of petrol” to “this thing is a burden”, and remembering mum’s old car being towed away for nowt, I thought perhaps I had to pay. I blathered something about hoping someone would give me a tenner for it, and that confused Russell enough that he upped the offer to £150.
Figuring he wasn’t now punishing me by upping the price, I dug out the registration document and mot and got straight over there, changed and ready to run home. It turned out Russell was a very busy man, transport manager on holiday, piles of customers to ring and jobs to sort out thanks to a power failure on the Friday before. Not to mention.
Sorry. Silly figure of speech, that one. But not to mention a holiday that weekend to prepare for. He happily told me all this, and I decided I liked him a lot; properly an excellent bloke. I a daring moment of on the fly generalisation I decided it is just the posher white collar British who are standoffish. He also described the car crushing process, stilled at that moment for lunch. I was pleased that I was just fascinated, not upset at all at what faced the old banger, even if it was an old banger I had expected to be rid of at the start of my year off and which had taken me many many miles since then. I didn’t ask to drive the car crusher, perhaps I should. We did the deal, I took my cash, stuffed it in a pocket, took some kudos from the staff downstairs for running home, and took my certificate of destruction and tax disc with me, along with my now hand held Tom Tom. It picked out a walking route home that was only 6miles where I had driven 8, but as it took me down a private road and past St Joseph RC private school I bottled it when the route took me into a field. There was a tapping at a window behind which I took for a local taking umbrage, but I turned.
I made it home after 7 miles, this time taking a shortcut down the road-path-road past local stables that Tom had tried to make me take in the car. Maybe it used to be a road, but I was glad to see that my ignoring his advice from a couple of days before had been the right thing to do. My niece and nephew were in the house, being cute as you like, and I spent the day whooshing, finally cutting back the bush dad had asked me to, mowing the top of the lawn and making sure my tax refunded request was in the post before the end of the day. Worth £17 if they accept it was in before the new month the next day, worth an effort.
But not much actual packing. Worse, no booking of train to Moscow or myriad other jobs, though there was news from potential Moscow contact asking for a scan of my passport, which means I’m either in real trouble or that the last weekend being sold out is going to pose no barrier to the likes of me. Or me, anyway.
Summary: me, stressed. Car, dead. Bush, lost. Niece, cute, nephew also cute: rendition of ‘little bird’ on piano vg, though both mum and I sang along at different times only to be put in our place; “it’s not little bird. It’s another song with the same tune”.