Saturday, 5 March 2011

Not a good evening

Ever heard a tale about how bad things come in threes? Well this is one of those.

The only thing I had on my mind, when I left work on Thursday, was whether I should buy a 16GB iPhone4 or hold out for another month so that I could afford to buy the 32GB version.  My inner geek says "get the one with bigger storage", but I am about £40 short.  I drove home scheming:  the arguments in my head running along the lines of "if I take £40 from this account, I could get the phone now and pay it back next month" or "why don't I just charge it and finish paying it off next month?".  (I quickly shushed the latter argument.)  Another part of my brain was arguing:  "Why not settle for the 16GB? Do I really need 32GB of storage?".  It lost. 

Holding of purchasing for another month was still winning later on my way to a pub quiz, when I turned the car around outside the pub.  Then I heard it.  A metallic crunching noise, followed by "clatter, clatter".  I quickly parked the car up.  I first thought I'd damaged the steering (I'd had it on full lock); no, that felt fine.  Wheels, then?  They were still turning.  I decided it had to be a wheel bearing.  First thing wrong.

I went to the quiz, knowing that I could drive home with a broken wheel bearing, even if it wasn't safe to drive on the motorway to work.  We won.  And promptly donated our winnings to charity.  (You have to if you're known to be a friend of the quiz master.) 

Afterwards, S offered to shadow my drive home, in case something happened on the way.  Turned out, he didn't need to.  The Toy rolled about 2 feet before something seized up and he stopped.  So I phoned the RAC, switched off the engine, switched on the hazard lights and settled down to a long-ish wait.  When he arrived, the RAC mechanic determined it wasn't a wheel bearing.  It was the clutch.  The self-same clutch I'd had replaced 6 weeks ago.

(Incidentally, the most bizarre thing happened while I was waiting. A car pulled up beside me to ask directions.  Given that the only way to identify that my car was possibly occupied were its flashing hazards, I was a bit surprised to say the least.  Still don't know why they didn't walk into the pub and ask them.  It was fully lit.)

Watching as the mechanic hitched the Toy up to tow home, I noticed a long scratch on the passenger side.  Some bastard had keyed the Toy while I was in the pub.  Second thing wrong.

Got home well after midnight.  DH greeted me with a hot drink.  Then noticed a puddle of water on the oak floor in the hall.  Underneath the radiator.  A radiator that had suspicious looking rust marks down one edge.  It was obviously leaking from a seal near the valve you'd use to bleed it of air.  We could see the water drops forming.  I switched the radiator's thermostat to "off" and positioned a tupperware container under the drips.  Third thing wrong.

Definitely not a good evening.

In the morning, the RAC towed me to the garage, while DH followed and then drove me into work.  All I know is that the Toy will take several days to fix, so I've arranged a hire car for my trip to Site next week.  And we'll get the plumber in to fix the radiator next week.  It's still dripping a little, but not enough to get close to filling the Tupperware box.

- Pam

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