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More emails from Beyond

It’s that time of year again when I get a flurry of emails from Christopher, or rather from a Google Calendar that he set up before he was ill. They are a series of reminders about the house and car – “Empty septic tank”, “Service central heating”, “Get quote for house insurance renewal” and the like. It’s a bit of a double edged sword – on the one hand, it’s somewhat disturbing/upsetting to get emails from him, but on the other hand, they are undeniably useful reminders to get things done.

The most recent one was “Car MOT and service due”, so I dutifully phoned the garage to get it booked in for yesterday. I’ve got tons of annual leave left, which needs to be used up by Christmas, so my plan was to take the day off work, drop the car at the garage which is right next to the railway station, then catch the train to Worcester for the day for a bit of a change of scenery. There is a rather nice bistro in Friar Street which does a very pleasant two-course fixed-price menu, and I decided I’d treat myself to a leisurely meal. I was in the middle of my lunch (grilled pork chop, creamy mash, roasted baby vegetables, crispy sage and a rich gravy, followed by a lemon and ginger bavarois with strawberry coulis. Two tasty courses, a small glass of wine and a coffee all for under £20) when the garage rang. The car had comprehensively failed its MOT with corrosion on all of the brake pipes. Mike would try to have it ready for 5pm, but it would need a fair amount of work to fix and there was no guarantee it would be ready.

To say I wasn’t happy is something of an understatement, but I’ve got to have a safe, legal car and dodgy brakes are a serious problem given that I live on top of a very steep hill! So I gave the go-ahead for the work to be done, and headed off to the city library for the afternoon before catching the train back to Malvern. The library is new since my time. When I was at school in Worcester, it was in an old civic building that also housed a rather fusty museum. Since then, it has moved into a brand new building, trendily called “The Hive” which it shares with the library of Worcester University. It’s a hideous, gold-coloured monstrosity of a building, in what used to be a rather dodgy part of the city, squeezed between the bus station and the railway line. I’d never been in it before, but it’s impossible to miss. Actually, it was significantly pleasanter inside than out, mostly because once you’re inside  it you can’t see how hideous it is. I whiled away most of the rest of afternoon there, before catching the train back to Malvern to see if my car was ready.

When I got to the garage there was no sign of it. Mike said he’d spent the afternoon fixing the brakes, and that he’d taken it back to the MOT place to be re-tested. He would then do the full service on it the next day, assuming that it passed this time. In the meantime, I needed to get home, so he kindly lent me a courtesy car – a very under-powered W-reg little Vauxhall with extremely light steering and a very approximate gear-box. I really didn’t enjoy driving it at all, but I suppose it’s good to try other cars every now and then, if only to remind myself how much I like my Mini! I kept the courtesy car overnight, so I could get into work this morning, but was hugely relieved at lunchtime to find out that my car was ready and waiting for me, even if a rather fat repair bill was accompanying it. Hopefully, that’s going to keep it on the road until the same time next year…..

{ 1 } Comments

  1. paulD | 17 November 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    In the old days minis (the real ones) used to go on for years and years, guess now the new ones are built like all modern cars, designed to fail after a certain time.