Normal for Norfolk. Why did I say that? The day has been a disaster, particularly for the Sage.
He went off to Lowestoft this morning, and phoned me about 1 pm to say he was at Mike’s. Apparently, the bonnet catch on his car had suddenly failed, the bonnet flew up – fortunately, he was in town so was driving slowly – and cracked the windscreen. He was able to stop, tie down the bonnet, make a hole in the windscreen (that must have been fun, the temperature hasn’t risen to freezing all day) and get back.
I was sympathetic, but luckily Mike was willing to drive him home as I had a governors’ meeting to get to (and chair) for 2 o’clock – though I planned to arrive at 1.30.
The meeting went well, thanks, and we managed to get through Safeguarding training, two staff presentations and a full agenda by 4.30. Hah! Nailed it. I’m getting to grips with this job, I’ll be right up to speed by the time I retire. Unfortunately, I failed the *time off for good behaviour* test.
There was another meeting afterwards so I didn’t get home until after half past five. But that was fine. The Sage then said he was off to fill his van with diesel. That was fine. A while later, the phone rang. The Sage’s van wouldn’t start. He’d stopped to pop into a shop and the battery seemed to be flat. I was immediately helpful – who wouldn’t be? – and got straight in the car and went to help. I stopped, bonnet to bonnet, we looked for my car’s battery … it was in the boot. Who knew? There was a turning space just behind, that’s all right, I said helpfully.
My car wouldn’t start. Flooded the engine, I expect. I waited a few minutes, tried again. The car started! and stopped. Engine still flooded, I expected. I waited etc.
Half an hour later, my battery was flat too. We rang Al.
We didn’t know that Al had had a wisdom tooth extracted today, so was feeling a bit sorry for himself. However, he kindly came straight in and we put the jump leads on his van. My car started. I kept my foot on the accelerator to be sure, but a minute later it stopped and wouldn’t start again.
Okay. We were all on double yellow lines. We decided to push the van and car into a shop’s parking spaces. We got the Sage’s in, then started to push mine. Someone drove up, someone we knew. He helped. I made a total pig’s ear of steering – fighting the wheel because without the engine the power steering was off, being pushed so hard that I couldn’t judge my turning space – eventually it was done without mishap and no harm except to my girlie pride. Al, who hadn’t dared turn his engine off, took us to get diesel because he was no longer confident of having enough fuel to get to work, and drove us home. He wasn’t very happy about taking us in again with a replacement battery, as he has to leave for work at 5 in the morning and it had already been drained by his attempts at starting my car. Oh, by the way, a passer-by had tried to start the Sage’s van without success from her battery.
I suggested that I drive Dilly’s car in next morning to take the replacement battery, early because she was going out. However, Al came in a few minutes later to say that Dilly was worried that we might have an accident on slippery roads, so wasn’t willing to lend her car. Okay. We’ll have to take the battery in on foot, in a wheelbarrow, I said.
But I rethought that, after a while. I mean, really. A mile and a half on a slippery pavement or road, with a bloody battery in a sodding wheelbarrow? So I rang my friend Brenda. Who was out. So I rang my friend Barry. Who was in. Thank goodness.
At 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, Barry will be here to drive us and the battery to rescue at least one vehicle. And yes, we’ve spoken to the owner of the private car park. And yes, I do have breakdown cover, but that’ll be the next and last resort, because they take quite some time to come. I certainly wasn’t hanging about for them this evening. As it was, thank goodness I made plenty of jolly nice soup on Monday, because we were glad of it tonight. Plus a big glass of red wine.
Normal for Norfolk, my left foot. I’m jolly well going to bed. Goodnight, darlings and, if you have been, thanks for listening.