Monday, 1 January 2007

Famous Last Words...

I had planned to go to visit my sister (and see my new nephew) this afternoon. The drive would have taken a couple of hours, but I was looking forward to the journey. Then my car started to make an odd screechy sound. Fr Tim (of Hermeneutic of Continuity fame) heard it, and assured me that noises "like that" were only minor problems.

So, off I went, reassured. Ha! Fr Tim may be an excellent Seminary professor, Parish Priest, Blogger par excellence, and what have you, but he knows nothing about cars...

I got as far as Junction 9 on the M25 when the screeching noise started up, much louder, and then the car "wobbled." I'm not a brilliant driver, but I knew that I hadn't caused that wobble, and I didn't like it one little bit. So I pulled over on to the hard shoulder, and rang the breakdown services. Being a woman travelling alone has its advantages: I was promised priority treatment.

The next task was getting out of the car. I remembered reading that one should always leave one's vehicle and move well clear. Easier said than done, with massive lorries thundering past! Luckily, I also remembered that one should exit via the passenger door...

...Now, as anyone who has met me will readily acknowledge, I am not exactly svelte. Far from it. Actually I am probably three svelte people rolled into one. To complicate matters, I have a dodgy left knee from a road accident (and subsequent surgery) in my long-distant youth, and a dodgy right ankle from when I broke it falling down the sacristy steps 18 months ago (made slightly worse by the car crash I had a year ago.) Getting from the driver's side over to the passenger seat was, well, interesting... it would probably make a good yoga position from which to recite the prayer of the frog. At one point, both feet were on the dashboard... you don't want to know where the rest of me had got to!

That athletic feat achieved, I sat down to wait for the breakdown truck, and whiled away the time by reciting the rosary.

A Highway Patrol vehicle pulled up first, and checked to see that I was alright, and then the breakdown truck arrived. It was decided to take me off the motorway so that the car could be examined properly, and hopefully fixed...

No such luck. On closer examination it transpired that a rear wheel bearing had collapsed. Although it is a relatively straightforward job to put right, I had "chosen" to break down on a Bank Holiday: all the garages were closed, and the breakdown chap didn't have the relevant part in stock, so he couldn't even take me to his garage as a favour.

He loaded the car onto the truck and drove me home. I now have to pray that my local garage has the relevant bit, and that they can fit me in.

On reflection, I'm beginning to think that maybe I should stay off the roads at Christmas...

So, I haven't yet seen my nephew. My brother-in-law has promised to send me photos when he gets home this evening. I shall post them as soon as he does.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I hope they give you a free onward tow to the garage once it's open -- Brittania used to do that for me (oh, when I owned a car.....).

Sorry to hear your day didn't go as planned!

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