Saturday, 1 March 2014

Christmas Past

I used to really enjoy blogging & I regret falling out of the habit, so I decided to make March a month of blogging. One post a day for a month, see if I can keep that commitment and if that gets me back into the habit of writing regularly, or if I fail to do my 31 posts!

So, where to begin...
I think, as my life is generally made up of tales of chaos, that must be an ideal place to start.

Thus begins the tale of my journey to Shropshire, to a rented cottage, for the week of Christmas.
I packed Jeff, my car, with all the gifts, all the kitchenalia that we might need if the holiday cottage kitchen wasn't well stocked and lastly herded Kini, my cat, into her travel box and headed to go collect Dad.
Filled the car with all of the things he'd collected to bring with us.
With Jeff bursting at the seams we set off.
Kini curled up and went to sleep.
About ten miles down the road I was hit by the realisation that I'd left my clothes hanging on a hook at home, leaving me with precisely one outfit, to last a week.  
So after a swift U-turn, I loaded my clothes into the car and off we set again.
Dad with directions in hand, Kini sleeping soundly and Jeff driving like a dream.

Cut to a little later and we realise we've missed an important junction.  
I decide to take the next exit and wiggle our way through to the A road we would've eventually be catching anyway, so as we make our merry way through the countryside Jeff suddenly starts beeping loudly.  I glance down at the dashboard and see the word 'STOP' flashing in red letters.
I take this to be a clue that I should, possibly, stop driving.  
We pull into a bus stop and I look at the dash, realising that Jeff is overheating.
I don't have any extra coolant in the car, but check her levels anyway. 
And the answer is.....coolant purchase is essential.
We all sit, waiting for the engine temperature to drop so we can limp slowly to a garage, whilst also hoping a bus doesn't come along as the bus stop I've parked in, definitely isn't big enough for the two of us.

No bus arrives - which is normal I believe.  I'm sure two were just beyond the horizon somewhere.
The engine temperature drops, we limp to a nearby garage, I pour a full bottle of coolant into Jeff and we set off again.
Well, say I, let's hope that's the last of today's driving adventures!

We realise we're almost at the rented cottage, probably not more than ten or fifteen minutes away, when suddenly the car is filled with an extraordinary stench.
It's bad, really bad, Dad and I wind down the windows, unsure if it's coming from inside or outside.
It is utterly freezing with the windows open, but by christ the smell is so bad we have no choice.  
Kini, who has now been stuck in her carry case for longer than she should have been, due to the previous delays, has done a huge shit.
However bad you imagine that might've smelt, it was worse. It was terrible.  
If I live for the rest of my life, never again enveloped by a stench such as that, I'll be very happy.

We arrived at the cottage.  I exited the car at speed, yelling & asking where my bedroom was.  I had to let Kini out of her travel case before I could clean out the stink.  I ran up the stairs, Kini leapt from the case and back down the stairs I ran, throwing the contents of the case onto the front lawn, to be aired & cleaned up later.

I often wonder what it must be like to live an uneventful life.

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