Wednesday, 4 December 2019
All is Well in My World (or What world are YOU in?)
Leaving the beach, the battery light came on. Now, what I know about vans can be written on the back of a stamp but even I know the red lights on dashboard aren’t good. Still, we got to the caravan park and I was so tired I thought, well, I’ll worry about it in the morning. Or rather, overnight. So by morning I rang around all the local garages (thank god for the internet) and eventually found one who said they couldn’t fix it that day but bring it in and they’d try and do it Monday.
To cut a very long - and ongoing - story short, we were told it needed a new alternator, go back and don’t drive at all over the weekend, bring it in Monday morning.
In fact it was really restful having two days of no driving and it didn’t rain!! We explored Kilkhampton on foot - I’d walked there a few years ago so knew it a bit - and they had a shop there so we could buy food, even had a coffee and walked the dogs there. The pub the London Inn was fantastic - so friendly, and dogs welcomed there too.
Van wouldn’t start Monday so had to get breakdown out and it took 8 hours to get the van fixed, as the wrong alternator was sent. As the garage is on an industrial estate several miles out of Bude, we walked round there, and became experts in Cafes on Industrial Estates in the area. The Crib Shack was brilliant.
Got home and collapsed, enjoyed our last evening. Then, having packed up the van the next morning, glorious day, had our journey home all planned - the van wouldn’t start. Garage came out, said new battery. Back to garage, fixed new battery. Another visit to the Crib Shack.
Drove home via Wadebridge, and dear Jac treated me to coffee and we shared a cake. She was choking with laughter, looking at the second hand books, and showed me a marvellous coaster that said, “All is Well in My World.” On the back, further words of wisdom - “Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe”
We sat and cried with laughter reading that…
And on we went home, all well until we got to Carnon Downs - and the red battery light came on. It was all I could do not to cry. But I dropped Jac off, got home - and there was a parking space outside my house.
Rang my dear mate Paul who said to ring Breakdown (the 5th call to them) to see what the problem was, and he would come over today and have a look. Apparently it’s a coupling (that’s a part, not a relationship) and might take a while to get said part but he will get it asap. He, along with another friend who’s mechanically minded, and the breakdown guy, all said they don’t think I needed a new alternator. Thus saving £300. Paul is on the case, bless him…
I’m so unnerved by the episode - to say nothing of the £450 and costs rising - that I’m happy not to drive for a few days. But what this has taught me is the power of friends.
You know that wonderful saying, “Before you self diagnose depression, make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by arseholes?” How true!
These past few days have made me realise that if I’d been with the wrong person, this holiday could have been a disaster. As it was, we had a great time exploring on foot. We got helpless giggles. The caravan was centrally heated, large enough to sleep six, comfy beds and plenty of room, and lovely and quiet, being December, surrounded by green fields and a nearby village. The dogs loved it, and I would happily go back there like a shot.
So while I could have done without the ongoing van hassle, I know I’ve got amazing mates in Jac and Daisy, Paul and Viv and everyone else who has supported me through this palaver. And of course dear Paul who is at this moment fighting my corner with the garage.
And best of all, I got back to a really encouraging email about my novel. So maybe All Is Well In My World. Well, a bit of it anyway.