Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The good and the bad of the holiday

My original intention this year was to be sensible and spread my 20 days holiday throughout the year with one week off in each quarter. Sensible and very grown-up, I think you'll agree.

Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and men…

So here we are just sneaking into June and I've FINALLY got some time off. Much-needed time off, it must be said. Monday was a bank holiday, so *technically* holiday time didn't start until Tuesday. Needless to say I was well excited at the prospect of scampering around and doing my own thing.

I awoke early on Tuesday so I could head over to a yoga class taught by one of my favourite teachers. It was raining, but I could cope with it, or so I thought. In future I shall remember to pay closer attention to such signs.

Approximately seven minutes into my drive to yoga I was cut up by a Nissan Serena of all things on a dual carriageway, and about a second after that there was a loud cracking sound and a rather beguiling star-shaped pattern appeared on my windscreen. I have never seen a stone actually chip a windscreen like that; I thought that was the sort of old wives tale that Autoglass repairmen told naughty drivers to make sure they didn't misbehave.

Huffing, I nevertheless pressed on.

Yoga was excellent, thanks for asking.

I later called Autoglass to arrange for a man in a van to come out and repair the chip (going by their "is it larger or smaller than a two-pound coin?" line of questioning apparently it is repairable). Unfortunately the closest available time they can come out to do it is next Tuesday. At one point the guy accidentally said the "8th of August" at which point I almost had an aneurysm.

Shortly after that I popped off to get my haircut. It looks lovely, thanks for asking (initially it was a bit anime-style, but today it's more Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds; I can live with either look, quite frankly).

After arriving home again I decided to call Sparky Ma about something or other; I can't remember what, but knowing me it probably had something to do with having seen an adorable looking cat. So I'm standing by my car chatting aways when ohmygodwhatthehellisthat!?

Turns out it was a big eff-off screw embedded in my front tyre. By this point I just wanted to go inside, sit on the sofa and power through about 18 episodes of Gilmore Girls, but the slightly more rational part of my brain (yes, it does exist) suggested that I probably ought to go and get it seen to.

Yes, probably best.

So I jump back in Clubbie and head off to the tyre place. Now, Clubbie has a tyre pressure warning system that tells me when it's got a puncture, and that wasn't registering anything so I began thinking that maybe the screw had missed the delicate inner workings of the tyre (I'm not totally sure what's inside a tyre other than air, but I'm sure they must have something delicate like ovaries or a spleen) and it might just be repairable with a … I don't know, puncture repair kit?

The lovely people at the tyre place whipped Clubbie in very quickly and I went and sat in a waiting room with lots of other bored men watching a program about big and powerful machines presented by James May on Dave. Well, I pretended to watch it; mostly I was surreptitiously tweeting about a middle-aged couple who I suspected were on the verge of heading to the toilets for some risky and quite frankly icky tyre shop toilet sex.

After about 10 minutes someone called out "Gentleman with the Clubman!" I then proceeded to sit there looking around for a couple of seconds before literally saying "Oh that's me!" and jumping up to head over to the front desk.

"Yes, there was a big screw stuck in your tyre, but it wasn't leaking," the man said to me.

"Oh good!" I replied.

"And then we pulled it out and it started leaking quite badly."


And that's basically how I ended up spending a rather unexpected £156 on a new tyre (yes I know that's a lot of money for a tyre; they're runflats - the cost is outweighed somewhat by the fact that I can keep driving on it while it's flat, waving regally like the Queen at those unfortunate peasants sitting by the side of the road changing their own tyres).

An hour later I retreated a little light-headedly (and somewhat drained financially) to Sparky Ma and Pa's for a rejuvenating cup of tea, and from there home, where I basically barricaded myself inside with my iPad and a Gilmore Girls boxset.


Aside from the financial aspect, sucky Tuesday was offset by awesome Wednesday, a day on which the sun was shining gloriously and Sparky Ma and I hit Kingston for a day out shopping. I can't say I spent too much money, but a lovely time was had - and I was a little tempted by some rather unusual items.

Gross enough that I was seriously tempted. Although the salty chocolate strays dangerously close to South Park territory.

£5.25p for a bag of 10 glow sticks. Seriously tempting, my friends.

Soap Nuts or Dolly Washer Balls? Sometimes you're just spoilt for choice.

Surely it would just be easier to put on some lippy and flutter your eyelids, but the question still remains: why on Earth would you want to attract wasps?

Oh, of course. Silly me.

And to top it off, as a result of the latest post from everyone's least favourite witch, I sought out the new Star Trek novel Unspoken Truth to indeed confirm that I make an appearance on page 309 as a Vulcan high priestess.

I'm a pointy-eared priestess!


That's not to say that there wasn't a mild bit of Grrrrr-ing on Wednesday, however. Upon returning home from Kingston, I glanced down at my new tyre. When I bought Clubbie one of the smaller details that I was particularly proud of was the fact that it had really quite nice shiny valve caps on the tyres. Turns out that when they changed the tyre on Tuesday, though, they threw the proverbial baby out with the bath water by junking the shiny valve cap with the old tyre and replacing it with a cheap black plastic one that quite frankly was the sort of thing I'd expect to find on a Perodua Nippa.

I sighed upon making this discovery. But then DECIDED TO GET PROACTIVE.

I phoned the tyre place, and basically said "find my shiny valve cap. Now."

They had a look, but understandably they'd accumulated quite a mountain of busted tyres since the previous day so it was a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, although without the actual 'finding' bit.

On the plus side, they invited me down and replaced all four valve caps with brand new uber-shiny ones FREE OF CHARGE.

And that, dear reader, is the happy ending to this post.


CyberPete said...

I can't wait to find out how Thursday will be labelled.

Sorry your Tuesday sucked. I can't for the life of me remember what I did Tuesday (or Monday) other than going to work obviously.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Bwah hah hah haa! You were bested by a Nissan Serena!!
That's like Broom being out maneouvred by a magic carpet!

What kind of shop sells all those varieties of gonads? And what were you doing in there?

Tara said...

I'm going to look for the chilli-flavored chocolate the next time I'm at the store. I've heard that chocolate is good. It's supposed to have a kick to it.

I am so sorry about your car problems on your vacation days. I'm glad they were at least able to fix the tire and eventually give you the proper caps. I hope the windshield repair guy does a proper job too.

Tim said...

Cyberpete - Thursday? Thursday was a good day.

Inexplicable Device - The shop was Lakeland, a specialist kitchen shop. Which begs the question - WHY WERE THEY SELLING GLOW STICKS?!

Tara - I was looking at the chilli chocolate again today in a different shop. Was a little bit tempted, but I decided to behave and bought a new plant instead.

CyberPete said...

How about the rest of the week?

Tim said...

Oh, we'll get to that.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Was Lakeland staffed by middle-aged ravers?

Tim said...

Aw, could you imagine?! That would've been AWESOME!