29 September 2019 (Sunday) - Early Shift
I think I possibly had one of my worst night's sleep ever last night. I lay dozing fitfully for two hours with my stomach rumbling constantly. I got up and watched a rather clever episode of "Inside No.9" and scoffed some granola before going back to bed just before two o'clock.
My stomach was now settled, but the noise of torrential rain kept me awake until five o'clock when I gave up trying to sleep. I got up, and over some toast watched another episode of "Nightflyers". The plot had leapt eight months forward. Characters who once hated each other were now best friends. Characters who hadn't really had much to do with each other were having a baby together (on a spaceship?).
This program hasn't been thought out at all.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking (amongst other things) about the Labour MP Patricia Hodge who now faces deselection. According to the rules a standing MP has to have the support of two thirds of those in the vote of the local party. She'd fallen short; she'd only got fifty-five per cent of the vote.
But only fifteen per cent of those eligible to vote had cast an "X". Doesn't that really sum up the state of our so-called democracy. No one can be bothered with it.
As I pulled in to the works car park my car beeped. I had a message from it on the dashboard display – “Oil Pressure Fault”. I needed that…
I got to work; my fourth consecutive weekend to be working. But as I always say, I don’t mind working at the weekend when it is raining. And "er indoors TM" has also noticed that it rains a lot when I’m working at the weekends.
Work was busy. And frustrating. But being busy, the time soon passed. And with a knackered car waiting outside I spent a little while sorting out the times of the train home.
Home time came… I went out to my car to leave my sandwich box in it (didn’t want to carry that home) and to pick up the packet of extra-strong mints that was in the car. And to get a raincoat too; there’s a spare coat in the car.
But in the time it took me to walk to the car I’d gone into auto-pilot. I’d completely forgotten about the oil pressure fault. And so had the car. We both drove off quite happily. It was a shame that the car remembered the oil pressure fault before I did. Half way down the M20 just as the traffic was being filtered into the fast lane (as the slower lanes were closed because of a car on fire down the road) I got the warning together with frantic beeping and the stop light came on too. Gripped by absolute panic I pulled onto the hard shoulder. I was so grateful that I’d listened to the man from the insurance company and put the breakdown number into my phone.
I got through to the breakdown people; they took down my particulars (oo-er!), told me the nice breakdown man would be along in forty-five minutes, and they texted me a link on which I could track where the nice breakdown man was. However, rather than having a countdown timer of when the nice breakdown man would arrive, the link seemed to be a random number generator. The expected arrival time went from less than a minute up to fifteen minutes a couple of times. The times in the piccie above really are in the order I received them.
Eventually (after a wait of an hour and three quarters) he rolled up. I was glad to see him; half an hour after my breaking down all the electricals had gone in the car too.
The electrical issue was easy… With the car’s engine off, I’d been charging my phone, I’d had the blowers clearing the windscreen, I’d had the radio on. I’d flattened the battery.
The oil pressure fault… The nice breakdown man checked the oil. The very end of the dipstick had gone. And then I remembered that the nice man in the garage did say at last Monday’s servicing that the end had dropped into the sump. He said that it *probably* wouldn’t be an issue. The nice breakdown man had a theory that the bit of dipstick was obstructing the flow of oil. He could see that the stuff was moving (I have no idea how, I just had utter faith in him), and when he started the engine he said he could hear it wasn’t poggered. The nice breakdown man suggested I drove home slowly and he’d follow, and that I should stop if anything seemed awry. We got to within two miles of home before the warning message came on again.
The car is parked outside. It can stay there. I’ll get in touch with the garage in the morning.
Once home I wanted a little rest, but the dogs were having none of it. We got leads on, and despite the rain went for a little walk round the roads. We came home just as "er indoors TM" arrived back from Margate having been visiting "Daddy’s Little Angel TM".
She boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “Tattoo Fixers”; for someone who’s covered in tattoos, I can’t help but wonder what some other tattoo-ed people were thinking of.
I’m going to have an early night – I’m worn out. I barely slept last night, and I’ve got to be on the train at quarter past six tomorrow morning…