Thursday, September 17, 2009


this is the week to celebrate the intransigence of inanimate objects (or perhaps semi animate, since I am one who anthropamorphises many sensible things like cars, computers etc in entirely silly ways)...I always find this hard to deal grasp of things technical is about as loose as it can be so I have little hope of sorting out, or indeed understanding, problems when they come along, and am left feeling vaguely panicked and distinctly miserable.
Currently it's the refusal of the liturgy for Sunday to fall into a nice little booklet with page breaks in the right places and space for pretty pictures that is driving me mad. The insertion of the Eucharistic prayer seems to have wrecked the whole shooting match but it's hard to see how I can celebrate a Eucharist without one, so by way of diversion I'll keep my promise to tell you of the unlikely angels of yesterday...It might even make me feel better!

Yesterday was all about cars. The day began much earlier than normal, as lovely parishioner cum car guru arrived on his way to work to deliver Hattie Gandhi's car and take mine away for a service...The plan was that I would get through the day on foot/bike, and she would drive to Oxford in the evening to collect Hugger Steward from the Oxford Tube, the cheapest route home from London. All went well til mid afternoon, when the garage phoned to say that they wanted to do some more tests on my car, but wouldn't have the necessary equipment till the morrow...could I manage without a car a bit longer. Dismayed, but not distraught, I thought I probably could...but had better use HG's car before it vanished, in order to do some hospital visits. First, though, it needed petrol

HG's car is just a little thing - with a tiny petrol tank, so I guess I should have been suspicious as the pump whirred on, til we'd clocked up almost as much as I'd normally put in my Citroen. The penny didn't drop, though, til I noticed a large puddle at my feet. Petrol. As fast as I was filling up, petrol appeared to be leaking out of the bottom. PANIC STATIONS!

Phonecall to car guru, but he's already on his way home...His colleague is wonderfully reassuring but can't do anything instantly (not least as he's about 30 miles away...) I realise that I do at least need to pay for the fuel I've so generously contributed to the forecourt, and go in to explain the situation to the very young guys working behind the counter. They could not have been kinder. Or calmer.
While I went into freefall about stranded offspring and diverse alarams and excursions, they simply got on with sorting things out.
Not a word about my disabling one of their pumps at the busiest time of day.
No complaints about the considerable fire risk baby car was posing.
Just much action with buckets of sand and then...would I like a coffee?

And it went on.
Car guru's colleagues were kindness itself.
Random customers at the petrol station stopped and commiserated
A dreadlocked biker, who tbh looked a tad alarming, offered to ride to Oxford to rescue Hugger Steward.
Within only a little over an hour of the whole grisly business starting, Baby Car had been made safe to drive and taken back to the garage to be sorted out and I was back home, feeling as if it might be worth lying by the wayside once in a while, if only to discover how many wonderfully good Samaritans there are to be found. Or were they really angels unawares?


marcella said...

they ARE angels and there are plenty of them about. Probably related to the dear angels who had to prize my petrol cap off when I couldn't get any IN to it that cold evening driving back to Oxford, or the lovely "naughty boys" who were so pleased to be asked directions when we were lost in North London. Hope you lick the liturgy into shape soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh poor you. Glad there are still some good samaritans around. I wouldn't have known how to help. Tell me why is it that in the 5minutes that I dashed in tonight between hospital visit and PCC meeting, the printer decided to jam so I couldn't do agenda's. Does technology see us coming and decide to be fickle. Even the technoboy angel in our house couldn't fix it for me this time.