Thursday, 3 June 2010


Life is full of blessings and curses.

Recently, my somewhat superannuated car had a fault which I needed to get sorted out at work. I didn't have roadside breakdown cover so I had to sign up there and then, resulting in a considerable premium being charged by the RAC. However the man who turned up was cheerful and resolved the problem quickly and got me on my way so it was money reasonably well spent. He also advised me what the problem was and said I would need to get it sorted at my local garage. This I duly did and drove the car to work yesterday satisfied of a problem resolved.

But alas! After work my brand new starter motor decided to burn itself out rather dramatically, making me one of those cursing fools standing at the side of the road as my car smoked alarmingly. Luckily I was deep in the Oxfordshire countryside rather than next to a motorway so at least my surroundings were nice.

And here's where the blessing comes in. Another very helpful RAC recovery man came to sort out my problem and to get me home - or at least to my local garage - which meant that I went from being in deficit to the breakdown firm to being in profit. One more breakdown this year and I will be winning hands down.

The other blessing was that as I had to return my car to the garage I was able to get my beloved bike out of the shed to cycle to Witney for the bus to work. It is difficult to overstate the delight I feel when I ride my bike, which I bought new all of 18 years ago and which still inspires me as few things do. Today is a glorious day so my ride was made even better, despite my apparent lack of fitness and the fact that I live in one of the highest places in the county, which means hills. Gently rolling down some of these hills as all manner of wildlife tries to fly into my throat, run in front of me, dive bomb me or otherwise kill me is one of those 'God is in his heaven' moments in life and today was no exception. Cycling really does get your blood pumping in the nicest way.

The final blessing was that, once in Witney, I bought a bus! Or at least I think I did since the fare was so unbelievably astronomical that I must have. I chose the bus over the train as I thought the train fare was too high but then I discovered that the bus fare was even more. I will write to the bus company (rhymes with 'beige poach') to discuss delivery of my bus and henceforth all my travel woes will be at an end. I will be able to hurtle around the Oxfordshire countryside threatening my fellow cyclists with impunity while my car does its best to support local business in Oxfordshire by breaking down with a regularity unknown outside of a Swiss clockmaker's emporium.

So you see, life is good even when it appears to have done something unpleasant in your coffee cup. There is probably a moral I could link to the coalition but I don't think I can manage that level of cheesiness. This is a 100% apolitical post.

Still, I wonder what Nick would have done...

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