Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

Swan song

There were swans flying over the motorway as huge as gliding jets.
Sudden reminder that nature belongs more than we do,
with our outlandish modes of transportation.
They flying ‘as the crow’ and us having to follow roads.
They seemed magnified, and out of scale
with the stuff that went below.
Thoughts of mating for life, swan song
come to mind
and leave me thinking even more
I am not for this world
I cannot glide.

Another starting point for a poem


Following instructions…

A rare weekend to be shared with Curly Boy, no plans, no distractions, usual chores, but they can wait. “What shall we do then… you and me?” I ask him, expecting the usual suggestions.
“Let’s just drive,” he laughs, “we could go to France, get on a boat…”
“We could…” my mind racing over the details of the spreadsheet imprinted on the inside of my eyelids… income, expenditure. Little room for manoeuvre on these shores, let alone ABROAD.
He shuffled off to bed, leaving me a-Googling. St Malo, Zeebruge, Dublin, Caen… Dunkirk! £17 day return! An adventure for under £20 (yes I know there’s fuel on top) but adventure on foreign shores for £17? All I need now is a hi-vis jacket, warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and I’m sorted.

She’ll be towing a 16 footer when she comes…


Well that was a first! We hired a 16ft trailer at the weekend and I towed it to Coventry where we loaded up Laurie’s dismantled shed (sorry, studio) and towed it back to Nottingham. All went well – towing’s a doddle just don’t ask me to do too much reversing – until we arrived at the allotments.  I got through the gate alright, and even past the chap who had parked a great big van half way up the lane – however, due to the loss of speed getting past his van my poor old car ground to a halt. Laurie tried giving a push which helped but then I ground to a halt again. So we hitched my car to Middles Sis’s Big Blue Van and she-towed-me-towing-trailer. On up to the car park we drove, where I managed a bit of spectacular reversing and drove back down the hill and swept into our small lane and to the door of our allotment.

Sunday we had more removals to do – this time – courtesy of Freecycle – a two storey wendy house – most of which had to go on my roof rack – that was fun – driving through the streets with a huge house strapped to the top of my car.

I think we have enough work on our hands now – well Laurie does – two piles of timber, two sheds to put together. I shall have to hang up my work boots for a week and get back to housewifey stuff like ironing and supermarket shopping, not to mention paid work and , writing more words! The trouble is, shifting sheds and reversing trailers is much more fun than all the other stuff.

I am paying for my weekend of freedom from household chores – those immortal phrases, ‘is there anything to eat?’ and  ‘where’s my blazer,’ can be heard from my two eldest. They spent the weekend at their father’s house. It was his 50th birthday on Saturday – Happy Birthday Ex! Did I buy him a present? Not directly – I didn’t even say, ‘ he never got me anything, even when we were married,’ just thought it – but I did get stuff for the kids as my lovely J was stressing about what to get him. She loves to give a good birthday. It seems even when you’re not married anymore you’re still married somedays.

Why do I rely on my car?

Well, I do. Yesterday started well with son2 setting off for school in his brand new uniform. He was happy to go and I promised I wouldn’t be late to pick him up.

Got home intending to crack on with the domestic chores but was interrupted by 2 visits from friends one of whom hasn’t seen our allotment. Any excuse to leave dishes behind – we jumped into my car and drove up there, had a wander around, cup of coffee, then thought I’d better fetch son 2 from school. However my car immobilizer decided it wanted to stay that way – immobilized. I have an old car, nobody would really want to steal it so I don’t quite know why I need an immobilizer – but I have one and it works really well.

I called Al and she raced to fetch son 2 for me. We then tried everything we could, to work out how to switch the bloody thing off so that I could drive home. That failed so I gave in and called Green Flag. They came in an hour, but couldn’t get the truck through the gate because it has a height restriction bar on the top, like you get at rubbish tips. My key wouldn’t fit because the council have just put a new padlock on the bar. I called the emergency number and the lady said she didn’t know who had a key, ‘sorry.’ She didn’t seem to know how the firebrigade would get in if they had to either.

So I called Charlie (got the number from my sister Clare – are you still with this?) – he is the Cahirman of the Allotment Committee, what Charlie doesn’t know about the allotments isn’t worth knowing. He’s a born and bred Nottingham man, ex-miner, 5′ 4″ and strong as an ox. He didn’t have a key, but he gave me the number of the Key Holder. Unfortunately he wasn’t answering his mobile (it was about 5 o’clock by now). Then my sister Clare arrived to see what was going on. She whisked son2 away to feed him and I watched as Green Flag man did everything that Al and I had already done. No good. So, they towed me with a car through the gate and then loaded me up on the big tow truck.

Today has been a long succession of bus journeys to get done all the things I had planned to do – I had to cancel son 2’s MMR jab as I can’t get from school to doctor’s on a bus without going into town and out again which would take forever – we could have walked for an hour I suppose.

So have I done any writing today? No. Have I cleared the laundry pile from the dining table? (Should be called the dumping table since we hardly ever dine at it). No. Am I organised for back to work on Monday? No. Am I going to have to pay £50 to get the bloody immobilizer immobilized?