Tuesday, August 18, 2009

from the sublime to the automatic

dear readers, the fun with cars has continued apace. as regular readers will recall, arthur the audi had a small lake in his rear footwell which was in danger of mucking up his inboard computer bits. herself tried to get estimates from a few garages but they said they could not guarantee that they would sort out the problem even though they would have to charge for their time. this did not appeal to herself, who tries to watch the pennies nowadays. so she went to the local audi dealer. while they are expensive, they at least know what makes an audi tick. or leak.

the estimate for the work was a scary amount but luckily herself had put some money aside for car repairs so all was well. the only problem was that herself was due to go away on her horse therapy course (or horse hugging course, as mr snake-charmer calls it) and driving up the motorway with the lights flashing randomly did not fill her with joy. luckily the audi dealer has spare cars which they lend to people. rather apologetically, the audi dealer said to herself,

"the only thing we have left to lend you is an A3." herself was fine with this as her old audi, sparky, was an A3 and was very pleasant. on the day when she went to drop off arthur the audi the man said, "change of plan. we are letting you have an A4 estate." herself was also fine with this. she likes audis in general. the paperwork was all done and the man went off to collect the replacement car.

herself stood outside, waiting for the A4. but the man appeared with a different car. it was a brand new jaguar. it turned out that the A4 had a warning light on which meant they had to let herself have a rather classier car than they intended.

"i'm sorry, its an automatic," said the man. "that's fine, i'm sure i'll cope," said herself, magnanimously.

the following day was the first day of the horse hugging course. as it was a long way away, herself had to get up very early indeed. even when herself can see what she is wearing she is sartorially challenged. when she gets dressed in the dark she is a sight to behold. add to this a distinct lack of sleep and you have a vision of loveliness. herself set off into the night. after a while she stopped for coffee. she noticed as she got out of the jaguar that she was being stared at a lot. the attention was not reduced when she set off the alarm on the jaguar by opening the boot instead of the fuel flap. it dawned on herself that the people looking thought she had stolen the car.

eventually, with one eye on the mirror in case of flashing blue lights, herself arrived at the horse hugging course. there were 30 other people on it, ranging from psychotherapists to people with livery yards. it seems everyone wants to learn to hug horses. i may volunteer as a stand-in huggee for smaller participants. i like a good hug myself.

the first evening herself was staying in birmingham with her maamship. her maamship has a flat in birmingham where she stays in the week while she does her judging. the following day herself drove to where the course was. this necessitated going up the M6. when you got off the M6 you had to turn left.

the second evening herself stayed with her maamship and the prof in their family home, which is north of where the course was. on the sunday morning, herself drove down the M6 and turned left, as she had the day before. even young dave could have worked out the problem with this. herself ended up somewhere miles away and was rather late, in spite of having risen very early.
the course ended that afternoon and herself headed home down the M6, proudly clutching her certificate. the jaguar had a little light on to say it was thirsty and needed diesel. herself saw that services were imminent. but alas, she had to turn off the M6 onto the M42 before she reached them. all was well as there was a sign saying that there were services in 20 miles. the on-board computer told her that she had 22 miles left in the tank. but as fate would have it, the turn-off to the M40 was before these services. there was a sign saying that the next services were in 20 miles. by now there was less than 20 miles in the tank. herself slowed down to 56 mph, having remembered that this was the most efficient speed. she also tucked in behind a lorry, a trick she remembered from her motorcycling days. as the distance to the services went down, so did the amount left in the tank. it became clear that there would be a shortfall of 2 or 3 miles.

herself got on the blower to himself. fortunately himself was on his computer.

"can you look up how accurate the fuel indicator is in a jaguar x-type?" she wailed. himself duly googled this, but found nothing helpful.

"just treat it like the diesel challenge!" he said. the diesel challenge was a game that the peeps used to play with my boy when he was young. for some reason not unconnected with lack of organisational skills and lack of money, the peeps were in the habit of driving round with very little fuel. it was often touch and go whether they would make it to the petrol station. so they turned it into an exciting competition between the humans and the car. fortunately the humans usually won.

luckily herself won the diesel challenge on this occasion too, with sighs of relief all round. when herself told people about her diesel adventure, everyone told her about an episode of top gear, on which some bloke had driven a jaguar right across europe on one tank of petrol. but he presumably had a film crew handy if he ran out...


Anonymous said...

Only herself would end up with a Jaguar by accident. Horse hugging sounds lovely. Hug Joker for me will you? Thanks lovey.

uphilldowndale said...

Phew, that was scary, I thought you were going to tell us you put diesel in a petrol Jag. Horse hugging sounds fun, I've been caressing cauliflowers

Anonymous me said...

I so agree ... I also love a good hug, there's nothing quite like it! I expect horses feel the same way. I am a big fan of the diesel challenge myself, being somewhat financially challenged too. Can we design a car that runs on the fumes of fumes do you think? xx Jos