Monday 30 October 2017

Coming apart

We managed to pack up Erin Mae on Saturday and head off south in the car mid-afternoon-ish. For some time the car's warning system has been subjecting me to occasional fake news – saying that I need to check the tyre pressures. When the problem started I did. Then I realised it was a faulty sensor system, and I didn't bother any more. So when the warning came on as we approached the big roundabout where the A446 joins the M42, I paid little attention. Half way round, however, the wheels felt rather rumbly, and as we joined the slip road down on to the motorway it was bad enough for me to stop and check. Sure enough, the left rear tyre was in the last phase of going flat.

If you've ever transferred the moveable contents of a narrowboat to a car, to transport them home for the winter, you'll have an idea of how much gear was stowed in the rear of our Focus estate. And where do they keep the spare tyre? Underneath the floor of that compartment! So it all came out on the hard shoulder. Fortunately the lights on the roundabout release the traffic down the slip road in batches that are not going too fast, so there wasn't too much danger as I changed the wheel. Of course, the wheel was one of these slim-profile jobbies that have a maximum speed of 50 mph, so that was the speed at which we completed the remaining 150 miles of the journey, with hazard warning lights flashing for those sections where we thought other drivers might be surprised by a vehicle going so slowly. It was frustrating to find that the service station at half-way where we were hoping for a restorative coffee had a fire alert, and no-one was allowed inside. All the way home without a coffee was something of a first. And the stuff on the radio (all channels) was mostly rubbish (IMHO).

Well, we made it safely without any further alarums, and the weekend was going well. We met up with our friends at church for worship on Sunday, went down to the Toby carvery for lunch, and then Son and Daughter-in-law NÂș 3 arrived on their way back from Weymouth, along with Bram.

"Your cupboards need re-arranging, Gran. Don’t worry - I’m on it!"

That was very pleasant and, when they left, we settled down to a light supper – those Toby carveries are very filling. That was the point at which my best beloved felt the tooth/bridge to which the dentist had paid attention a fortnight ago become rather mobile again. These things are not meant to come loose, and this is the second time. But when we rang this morning, they said to come along this afternoon and she would be fitted in somehow. That's what we did, and now the object in question is cemented back in place for the third (and hopefully the last) time of asking.

Which just leaves the tyre to be sorted. They couldn't do that today – short of staff for some reason. But we confidently expect to be capable of more than 50 mph at some time tomorrow. Hopefully that will be the last thing to come apart unexpectedly for a good, long while.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I recognise your 'dig out the spare wheel' saga... We too had to empty the packed contents of a Ford (Mondeo) onto the hard shoulder while homeward bound on a motorway. The boat had been emptied at the end of the season prior to an out of the water repaint and all sorts of unspeakable things had been bundled into black bin bags and squeezed into the car and boot. Our puncture was southbound on the M1 near Leicester, the event eight years ago - but the memory of unloading a car boot beside fast moving traffic remains!
    I hope your run of unfortunate mishaps is now over,
    Sue /Boatwif /nb Cleddau