Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Outta Here.

It’s been a bummer of a summer to put it mildly. The weather has been atrocious; the news has been all doom and gloom. I just want to get on with my life, head down, not causing anyone too much aggravation, looking after my family and eking out my grocery budget.
Thing is, no matter how hard I try to just ‘get on with it’, disaster after disaster befalls me. I can’t even be asleep these days without incurring huge costs. Take last Saturday night for instance. Hubby and I went to bed and, where I can usually hear a pin drop, especially noisy pins, like drunken louts outside my house, on this particular occasion I was left undisturbed until the following morning when I woke, refreshed and ready to face a busy few days with yet more and more guests to stay and church to attend with my youngest children.
Now, those who know me well will concur that I am not your regular church going type, but as my youngest attend a Church of England school and it was a family service and, because I want my children to develop some sort of moral obligation then I felt it only right that we support their school and attend. So, by ten past nine, whilst the rest of the family slept, we, in our Sunday best crept out of the house and went to the car.
The mess that confronted me stopped me in my tracks. A wind screen wiper had been snapped off at the root and the wing mirror, far from just having been bent back ‘for fun’ and been pulled at and pulled at and tugged and wriggled so much so that, not only was there no sign of where it might even have been, but, given the amount of scratching down the side of the door, one wonders if a tiger had taken the mirror off and not some A-hole of mankind. I just stood there, rooted to the spot. Why would anyone do something so malicious?
“Oh my God”, said the six year old, “Did a chav do that mummy?” I was speechless. This had been my mum’s car. The Renault I bought from Dad after her death and which has served me so well on my daily school run.
“Go and get daddy sweetheart” was all I was able to muster and within seconds Hubby, in his dressing gown, was at my side.
“Why?” I asked him and, apart from swearing and cursing and hugging me tight, he had no answer either. I left him to deal with the Police and insurance company and strapped the girls into Hubby’s trusty jalopy instead. As we approached the church an ominous smell of fumes filled the car.
“Bloody hell. What now?” I opened all the windows and parked the car. We entered the church and sang hymns and the girls listened attentively to a parable...but I couldn’t tell you which one. My mind was elsewhere; maybe I should have been down on my knees begging Jesus for mercy and a respite from minor, if costly disasters. But I didn’t, the only time I have called on Jesus’s name recently has been in vain, when faced with whatever crisis presented itself.
We drove home with the windows wide open and walked in to find Hubby’s expression grim indeed.
“Bad news Alice love. The insurance will cost us £200 excess.”
“Further bad news”, I replied, “Your car is giving off fumes”. Later that day our guests arrived and I cooked enormous quantities of food but my heart wasn’t in it, especially when ‘Forensics’ turned up the following morning.
“Well, well, well”, he said, looking at my car and shaking his head, “There was a spate of incidents around here on Saturday night, mostly damage to cars, but, well, this would have taken a good fifteen minutes to remove. These wing mirrors are attached by high tensile wire”. There were no incriminating finger prints.
That evening, Hubby and I drove in convoy to our local garage to drop off his old car and the following day my guests and I went to a scrap dealer for a new wing mirror and wiper blade. We returned to my local garage for said parts to be fixed and were met with the very solemn face of the mechanic.
“Mrs Band? Will you come into the office please?” I followed him meekly. Now what?
“It’s not good news I’m afraid”. There’s a surprise. “I don’t want to get too technical with you but basically it’s to do with blah, blah” he broke off. From the expression on my face it was all too clear that I just wanted to know how much money were we talking here.
“Over two and a half grand”, he said. There you have it. One car vandalised. One car too expensive to mend.
Then, just when you think the world has got it in for you, the post the following day brought a surprise. An invitation from an old school friend. Her book is being published. I was cordially invited to the launch party. In NYC. The Big Apple. Hubby laughed when I showed it to him. “In your dreams Alice love, in your dreams”.Well, as in all the best fairy tales, my God-mother (no wings) has made my dreams come true. “I’m buying your ticket for you”, she said, “And if you refuse to accept it I will never, ever, ever speak to you again”. My dad, in cahoots with my God-mother has bought me a new dress and handbag and inside a wad of green dollars. So I’m actually going. I fetched a pumpkin from the garden and it turned it a Virgin Jumbo jet. This is a modern fairy tale after all. Very modern actually, my Prince Charming is staying at home to look after the kids.


Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh, I am so sorry. When we lived in MOD housing, we had problems with yobs vandalizing cars. I'm truly sorry for what happened to you.

But I am thrilled you're off to NYC!! Enjoy every moment of it :)

It's just me said...

There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Just enjoy yourself!

enidd said...

wow, a fairy story (kind of). have fun in new york!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that there is a bit of sunshine in your otherwise dark & cloudy season.

Sally said...

Oh wow!!

At least you ahve a happy ending... Have brilliant time! Sorry about your car hassles! Loved the six year old's comment though!!!!!

Sally said...

Wrote one btw!!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, what a catalogue of expensive troubles!! At least it has a happy ending, New York! Wow!! Fantastic, after all the problems with the car. Bon Voyage! Scribble

Eloise said...

Ugh, I am so sorry about your car woes.

What a wonderful surprise about your trip to NY! Have a wonderful time. I can't wait to hear all about it.