It’s the time for adventure, the kind of adventure that means I must bicycle very fast from A to B in the early morning, which is, of course, the time when I am least equipped to do so.
Last week, the bearings on McMini’s borrowed balance bike seized half way to school. We chained it to a lamp post, he jumped on the back of the bike and I caned it to school. At least I only had to maintain high speed up one of the hills, we’d already done the other one!
This morning, the McLotus was our doom. It ran out of battery. I hadn’t used it for 3 weeks – you know how it is, it’s only a mile to school and there’s not even time for the oil to warm up and it’s just…. cruel. I had to go out in it on Thursday and when I started it, it went wauh nuh very slowly. But that’s the thing with a Lotus, really it only has to manage one turn and it goes, if you can get a wheezy ‘wauh’ out of it, it’ll start. So I’d taken it on a little run and checked it started OK when I got home. It did, I relaxed.
So… this morning we were late, so late we had to go in the car but when we got in it didn’t ‘wauh nuh’ it didn’t even go ‘wauh’. It just went click.
Keenly aware that I had to go 4 miles to the hospital for physio, up and down five hills, I thought I should try and charge it. I have a solar powered trickle charger which I thought I could use, plug it in and leave it outside the garage door. But it wasn’t long enough and the car wouldn’t move – you can’t even take the hand brake off and push it. When they say it has an ‘immobiliser’ they mean it. Normally, I’d just leave the door open a crack. However, today it was all complicated by the arrival, in a field near us of some people in caravans. There is a group wanting to settle somewhere in Bury who are regularly moved on but are staying round the town. It could have been them or one of the other perfectly decent groups… but it could also have been one of the groups that comes complete with a spike in the crime rate.
There was no time to do anything more so I shut the garage door, and we had to get on the bike, McMini on the back because it would take too long if he scooted or rode his own bike and I had to do a seven minute journey in about three into a strong head wind. It was… interesting, especially when an old lady overheard me muttering “fucking wind” under my breath and thought I was swearing at her. At least I think she did because she shouted “Well Really!” and there was no other reason I can think of… so if you’re reading ma’am, I’m very, very sorry. I promise I wasn’t talking to you.
With the physio appointment looming I was keen to get it charged up. I feared I’d have to ring the man from Lotus assist and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t make it out to me in time. And then a thought struck me, ergo that McOther and I drive stupid cars and have ALWAYS driven stupid cars and that my Triumph Spitfire, and his, had permanently flat batteries and that, in short, we had a trickle charger.
Amazingly, when I looked, I discovered we have. Even more amazing it was one that you can use to start the car and it was in the first cupboard I’d opened.
Never have I averted car trouble so smoothly. And as if to bless my happy outcome, I saw a d type jag in a garage on the way to the hospital and it was so lovely that I didn’t even notice the Ferrari F430 that pulled out ahead of it until it drove away.