The best laid plans of mice

Yesterday (Friday) was supposed to be a special day to celebrate my birthday (a day late, but hey, no work the next day). Elaine and I planned to have a nice meal and a few drinks at a nice local pub (The Holyhead to be exact – good food, and within easy walking distance).

The first sign that things would not go as planned was when I came down to discover that I had not heard the postman ringing the doorbell, and that Elaine’s latest Amazon spending spree had not been delivered. However, Elaine usually gets back from work around 4pm, so I foolishly assumed we could pick it up from the main Post Office that afternoon.

Unfortunately, Elaine returned home from work to report that our car was making very unpleasant noises. When I checked it, it was obvious the silencer was holed, and our humble Nissan Sunny now sounded like a Monster Truck. So, the book collection and weekly shopping trip was abandoned while I phoned round for quotes for a new back box, and waited in for a quote from a local garage that never materialised. Yes, Autoworkshop, I do mean you.

With plans to get the car fixed the following morning, we headed off to the pub for a relaxing evening. Unfortunately, the usually excellent food at The Holyhead was distinctly average, with my selection from the paltry 2 vegetarian options on the new summer menu turning out to be naff pre-cooked flan that had been micro-waved to death. To make matters worse, 20 minutes after eating I started to feel decidedly unwell. Now, I can’t blame the pub grub for this. My digestive system always exists on a knife edge, as anyone who knows me can attest to, and I think my failure to eat properly during the day was the biggest factor. Still, it meant we had to curtail our evening out, and head back to the sofa. Still, at least we got to see the penultimate episode of Friends, which we had forgotten so record.

This morning, still feeling a bit miffed that we had to cut our evening short, I readied myself to take the car in for a new exhaust, only to discover that I had lost my mobile phone! Now its not a great phone, in fact it is crap, but it does its job well enough provided I keep an eye on the battery charge, and I was still pretty miffed to have lost the damned thing. Luckily, when Elaine called my mobile number, we where relieved to find that it was safely behind the bar at The Holyhead, where it had obviously dropped out of my coat pocket. It seems my phone is too crap to even get stolen!

However, my good fortune at avoiding the cost of buying a new mobile phone was short lived. When the mechanic at National Tyres put my car up on the ramp to inspect the exhaust, he discovered that not only was the rear silencer badly holed, but the front section was also too badly corroded to be serviceable. So, the £50 back box became a £150 complete system, and fitting time went from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. To give credit to the car, the front section of the exhaust pipe was the factory fitted Nissan original, which had lasted an impressive 12 years, so I shouldn’t really complain. Still, a shock to the wallet however you look at it.

The upshot is that by the time the car was fixed, it was too late to pick up Elaine’s book, and the rest of our supposedly relaxing Saturday was spent trying to catch up with shopping and chores. Damn, you forget how easy a car makes things until it is broken. And damn the Post Office for shutting at 1pm on a Saturday!

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