Thursday, November 30, 2006

Missing Abdul

Didn’t I say that I was car illiterate? I called out the AA yet again. This time I was the required quarter of a mile from home, so they came to get me. What I thought was a flat battery turned out to be a little more serious.

Work is being done on the new school building – just preliminaries. The builders have fenced off a bit of the school car park. Although the builders are not supposed to park there, they do. This morning, one person had parked his car skew-whiff, abandoning his car in such a way to make four of the parking bays unusable. I thought maybe I had been too busy muttering about it this morning to check my lights!

The AA man recognised the car, and me – he has changed the tyre once and jump started me twice! This time, however, it was bad news. It was something to do with a cracked gasket and he explained perfectly what has been happening to the disappearing water. The dryness I mentioned weeks ago was nothing to with neglect from me. That’s kind of comforting!

The AA man went through all the little things that might have been happening over the last few weeks – curious smells, smoke coming out of things, disappearing water, white residue on the top of the water cap. These little things that you maybe notice but don’t really register all add up to one big thing that costs a lot of time and money to fix.

You see, this is where being car illiterate, or a mechanical numpty, really gets you into trouble. I could be driving a death trap and not know about it. When I moved back to live with my parents after coming back from Cyprus, I owned a mini. It was red and it was wonderful and I loved it dearly. The man across the road, a Sikh gentleman, called Abdul, loved my mini too. He used to spend hours tinkering under the bonnet and he knew everything about cars and stuff.

Right now I miss Abdul! I don’t have an Abdul. No one tinkers under the bonnet of my cars anymore. Abdul would have known what all the little clues added up to. I would have been warned about a huge repair bill looming over the horizon.

Well, the conclusion of it all, apart from cancelling Christmas, is that a mechanic from a garage is coming to collect the car tomorrow, have a look at it and start ordering bits. Yet again, Cinderella’s carriage becomes a pumpkin and I get to walk. There is an upside – I should loose some serious weight with all the exercise!

I am pretty much feeling like drowning my sorrows with an Indian takeaway – it memory of Abdul.

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