Sunday, 2 November 2008

The Joys of Life

The car has been playing up for the last couple of weeks, refusing to start in the cold mornings. We're a good couple of miles from the nearest bus route, shop or station, so it's kind of essential. Replaced the glow plugs (£40), then the battery (£60); still no good. So it's been bicycles, battery on charge every night, and faffing about in dressing gowns in the frost putting heaters under the block and ether up the air intake (which one really shouldn't do with a diesel, as it can blow the manifold off). Yesterday we finally sorted it with a new starter motor (£££s).

So what happens? To add to the bitter cold, it starts to rain like you've never seen. French rain, from France. And they've spread pig muck on the hill, directly upwind. And then - as we prepared dinner for eight - the loos start backing up, and I find that the lowest drain is overflowing over the terrace. So Bob and I were out in the freezing monsoon, in the gathering dark, inhaling pig poo, rodding the sodding drains, swathed in our oldest macs and hats in case of collateral splashback. When the blockage finally cleared with a great audible glop, the plunger nearly got dragged in by the suction, with the two of us on the end of it.

Talk about it never rains but what it pours. Sometimes I think there must be a divine hand in all this. With a warped sense of humour.


  1. A divine hand up to its elbow in Marigolds... Shakespeare was right about troubles not coming as single spies...

    On a positive note I've spent the morning listening to Kirsty's album. Really love it. My thanks to you and the gal with the gorgeous voice.

  2. I think I'm living through the metaphorical version of this story BT!

    Poor you!

  3. Amanda - You've been there too!

    Steve - You're so erudite (I had to look up the single spies reference). K was well chuffed that you liked it.

    Laura - I'm afraid you are. Very best of luck for tomorrow; we are all in your corner.

  4. I wish I could say it was from wide and intense reading, Brother T, alas Keifer Sutherland's character in Young Guns (1 or 2) quotes it to his half American Indian chum...

  5. I created a fountain of, erm, effluent on a boat in Greece once - I forgot which way you had to turn the valve on the pump-action loo and was quite grateful for the fact that the loo doubled as a shower cubicle. One of the reasons I love Mr Fishwife is that he wordlessly held his hand out for my clothes, jumped off the boat with them, and gave them a good rinse in sthe sea. What a god.

  6. Oh, bad luck. Perhaps being 'tigged' would take your mind off it?

  7. My mate M came into work last week driving his old post office van. I noticed a handwritten note on his steering wheel to remind him of the blanket he puts over the engine "to keep the plugs dry" whenever its parked. To remind him to remove it before driving away.

  8. Thanks so VERY much for making my immediate complications seem bearable. Troubles shared . . .as they say . . .
    Aloha from (warm) Waikiki!

  9. Steve - A much better source than sitting in room 4.10 squinting at a squeaky whiteboard in Mr Percival's Eng Lit module...

    Lucy, I may be one of very few to fully understand the horror! A waste pipe once burst above my legs as I lay peacefully reading in a quarter berth under identical circumstances, when someone pumped the Baby Blake without opening the sea cock. Jumping overboard wasn't really an option in the Hebrides.

    Can Bass, thank you. It distracted me nearly as much as your own answers did.

    Rol, I'm glad we're not alone. We've been doing the same with the dog (covering with a blanket, not jump-starting).

    Cloudia, I hope that any troubles you have may be as small and easily resolved as ours were. And congratulations from here, as around the globe, for your election result.