…the car broke down.
Last Wednesday in fact. I had just gone to Local Shop and when I got back into the car and moved the handle to ‘drive’, nothing happened. The cable between that handle and the gearbox has snapped. Naturally, this was the one day I hadn’t taken my phone with me so had to borrow the shop’s to call the AA.
They turned up pretty quickly, really. Apparently they’d had a busy day, with all the cars sat idle for a week or more taking to the roads, many with deferred MOT tests and no servicing or maintenance… maybe those things are not quite as non-essential as the police and government think.
So anyway, they dragged my immobilised car onto the back of a truck, took me the two miles home and dragged it off again. It’s an automatic stuck in ‘park’, all you can do is put sliders under the wheels and drag it. It doesn’t have an override to put it in neutral. The driver got a cup of tea and a Leg Iron Books mug as a tip because he was really patient with a right bastard of a job – but it might be a while before I get that competition winner’s mug posted.
Replacing the cable is a reasonably easy task but… all of the dealerships are closed. I cannot get the part. EBay is no use, the only ones selling cables that *might* fit are in Lithuania, the USA or the UAE. Amazon UK has one seller with one cable at a price that would make me scrap the car. Lots of them on the American and Canadian sites, at much more reasonable prices, but again, I cannot be sure they are the right ones. I can’t get the parts department at the closed dealership so I can’t get the part number.
A mobile mechanic came out to look at it yesterday. He did what he could, patched it so it can be moved, but without the right part he can’t do a final repair. So if I drive anywhere I could get stuck there.
Therefore we are now in full lockdown, missing only the welded-shut doors. We cannot go anywhere. CStM has placed a delivery order but it won’t come until April 30th so we will be heavily reliant on Local Shop’s emergency delivery for a while. They have been really spectacular in all of this, maybe one day I’ll even tell them who I am. But then it’s only been four years, I don’t want to seem pushy.
Okay, we have two freezers of food and I have a good stock of whisky and baccy so we’ll get through this without me taking pot-shots at passing Audis, tempting though that always is.
Editing on the anthology stories is now also complete and they’ll get sent out to authors this weekend. If you sent in a story and don’t hear back before Sunday, I might have lost it in all this year’s confusion. Don’t hesitate to drop me a reminder.
RooBeeDoo gets first place on the editor list for this one, she did most of the editing while I was in a blue funk for the last few months.
Finally, I need to come up with a title for this one. Something about quarantine, masks, handwash or toilet paper, ideally. Once all the edits are out, I’ll have a bit of a think.
Suggestions welcome, of course.