Diary: My week -- Car troubles and rain - The Lyorn's Den
Mon Aug. 4th, 2014
10:04 am - Diary: My week -- Car troubles and rain
Yesterday evening I said to Ceridwen, "The usual. I did nothing this week". She remarked that that could not be true. She was right. So, before another week ends up in my mind as "nothing happened" and another year disappears in the "nothing has happened" fog, I'll try to keep at least a short list. Cut for boring.
Sunday before last, we (N___, P___ and I) were getting a free kitchen from someone getting a newer one for flederkatz and P___, her boyfriend. Flederkatz could not help because she had stepped into a metal clamp a week ago and was walking on crutches. I had rented a van, which was quite expensive as it was the last weekend of the month. At five, when we left, it started to rain. Two minutes after when we got into the car, we were wet. When we arrived at the house where we could pick up the kitchen, a thunderstorm was raging and water ran down the full width of the street several centimetres deep.
The row of houses was of that type they built in the 70s, hidden behind dark green shrubbery, not so much ignoring issues of accessibility as working hard to be as inaccessible as possible. This was not made easier by the cellar being flooded and the moat-like walkway, sixteen steps down from street level, being ankle-deep in churning loamy water running down from the hill. Some time later the firefighters arrived to pump the water from the cellar and the walkway, so we had to carry everything through a maze of narrow stairs down the to basement garage, which was only partially flooded, and up to the street.
Which would not have been much of a problem, really, as everything but the dishwasher was so light that I could lift it easily. Only, the landlord made one hell of a fuss and insisted that everything needed to be carried by two people, and someone had to open the cellar doors as they must not be blocked open (never mind that that's exactly what the firefighters did, some twenty metres down the maze). Now, N___ is stronger than I, and P___ habitually carries 40 kilos glass plates at work, so we were very annoyed. Especially as we were drenched to the skin, wading in water, and the carrying, which could have been done in 30 Minutes, took 2 hours.
And I was the lucky one: I had dressed for very hot weather in water sandals, shorts, and a light hiking shirt, so at least I was not covered in soggy clothes. The boys were not that lucky.
At half past eight, we could finally drive off with the gear and leave the landlord standing in the downpour behind us (he had not left us alone for a minute).
There was no parking space at flederkatz's place, as usual. I parked illegally on the pavement, we carried everything into the hallway in record time, and then I set off to return the van and then get in my car and pick up N___. The dark streets were lighted by flashing blue lights reflecting from puddles the size of village ponds, and from the bright yellow rain gear of the firefighters pumping water out of cellars, underpasses and driveways.
I got home OK but could not get my car moving. I went through the motions three times, thinking that I might still be in van-mode, but no such luck: The clutch was broken. I called flederkatz to tell N___ that he would not get picked up, and finally got into dry clothes. N___ arrived about an hour later, and it stopped raining, finally.
Monday I felt a little down and chilly, my joints were hurting, clouds threatened more rain, so I borrowed Ceridwen's car to get to work. She and Gwydion has been at a middle ages event on the weekend, and the car was still full of gear.
I drove the gear to work and back on Tuesday and Wednesday, then I was very tired of it, drove over to Snow and we unloaded it to her cellar in about 15 minutes. It wasn't raining, which was a plus.
On Tuesday, Gwydion and I, with help from Ceridwen's car (still full of gear) had got Secunda to the repair shop. It's only 500 metres, and if it were level ground, we could have pushed her there and been back home in 30 minutes. But unfortunately, it's all uphill. Manoeuvring the cars so that we could get the tow bar into place took more than half an hour, not to mention finding all the small items necessary.
Wednesday morning I went to the repair shop, and they told me what I already knew (clutch was broken) and how much it would cost to repair it (1600 Euros). *faints*. I said I would come back in the evening and they should consider how much they would offer as a trade-in for Secunda if I bought a new car from them this week.
In the evening they told me "200 Euros". I can only conclude that they really did not want me to buy a new car from them on the spot. The fuel in the tank and the one-month-old battery alone are worth about 200 Euro, and Secunda is model which is highly sought-after for spare parts.
Thursday evening I went to another repair shop and asked them for a quote. They said "900 Euros". So now Secunda is in their yard, and I hope she'll get well soon, and we can still have some quality time together.
I have started looking for a new (new or used) car, anyway, and found that if I want a car that is not white, or silver, or grey, or black, I will have to buy new, or be very lucky. Of the 100+ cars on the used-car-yard, there are two red ones, one medium blue, and all three are marked as sold. All the unsold ones are black or dark grey, some silver and one white. *Sigh* I want a red car. Colour does not matter, as long as it is red.
It probably won't be a compact station wagon this time, because with Secunda breaking down three years earlier than hoped for I don't have the money at hand, unless I want to go for a 7 or 8 year old car. And with me not doing re-enactment anymore, and with many more cars available in my circle of friends than 8 years ago, size has become less of an issue. Still, a normally-sized person (i.e., larger than I) has to fit on the rear bench, and there needs to be space for two cats in transport boxes. I am considering a VW up! or an Opel Corsa. The latter has more room, but a slightly lower life expectancy. We'll see.
Wednesday before last, I was too frustrated and angry for words at choir practise, because people said I was singing the wrong way in the wrong voice, too loud, too shrill, and I knew exactly where I had heard this before again and again (at home as a pre-schooler) and what I had done to fix it (made my talking voice into something without resonance, modulation or volume), and how I might apply this to singing (by very consciously not engaging mind nor soul nor body), and I felt that if that was what it took to become acceptable, I could just despair and give up singing for good.
I was still very miffed this week when we had the summer party, and considered not going, but not wanting to act like a five-year-old, I did. It was unremarkable. I did not sing. There were lots of veggies and a very nice custard and a good apple crumble. It was also the only dry evening of the week.
There would have been a barbecue on Saturday, but another heavy thunderstorm convinced me to stay in bed instead and eat the cake that I had prepared all my myself.
Sunday Ceridwen came back from a music festival and we had some tea and cake.
And today it looks like there will be another thunderstorm, and I am again driving Ceridwen's car.
This entry was originally posted at http://lyorn.dreamwidth.org/38749.html. Please comment whereever suits you.