A rust bucket

A trip out and more on that another day.

But on that trip we came across what can only be described as a RUST BUCKET. Just parked on an average street, a normal busy street. As we walked to our destination this relic jumped out, sadly I think it’s jumping days have long since gone. It’s like it’s been left here for decades, forgotten, slowly being reclaimed by its surroundings.

I don’t feel too bad about my car now. No more can I call that a rust bucket. We have just found a world class heap of RUST.

Mobile

Early morning dog walk. A strange but most welcome yellow thing in the sky. But most definitely still warm coat weather.

An early start needed for an trip to the garage. This time thankfully a quick fix. While I was waiting for the part to be fitted to my malfunctioning Transformer (or more accurately my heap of rusting metal), I sat in the waiting room hoping to work out a different way of teaching Hawklad about chemical half equations. There should be a rule that if a subject wasn’t taught at school to a parent then years later he or she should be excused from trying to explain it to their kids. I’m sure I was never taught this Harry Potter stuff. Sadly I was not alone in the waiting room for very long. Frustratingly I was about to be distracted from my deep teaching reflections. A grumpy fellow customer had entered the room and was muttering to herself. Muttering very loudly….

Useless heap of….

Don’t know why I bought it….

Waste of money….

Doesn’t work….

It’s only a day old and it’s broken….

Useless ##@@@#£&### thing

Suddenly I realised she wasn’t talking about her car. It was her mobile. The tell tale sign was when she through her mobile quite violently on the table in front of her.

Clearly she then knew she had an audience.

‘This phone is rubbish. It’s brand new and nothing works. I can’t even get the home button to work. Rubbish’

The mobile had bounced in my direction. Even though it was several feet away I could see the problem.

You have the protective case on the wrong way. The gap for the home button is at the wrong end. The gaps in the case don’t match up with the side buttons on the mobile. Turn the case round and it might just work.

One minute later, with the case on the right way, the mobile was reborn. It was now a working mobile. Sadly any hope of sharing the waiting room with a less grumpy fellow customer was short lived.

‘It’s still the wrong colour and it’s too big for my handbag. I told my husband I wanted an iPhone.’

The tirade went on and on. Impossible to think about Chemistry.

Thankfully I was saved when the mechanic came to tell me my car was ready. Never been more pleased to have to pay a bill. I was clearly lucky, sadly that poor mobile wasn’t so lucky. Shame as it was a very nice one. If only it had been given a chance.

Hatch

The local cows seeking shelter from the blistering Yorkshire Autumnal Sun. Wow it’s been cold. Definitely two jumper weather.

Today we have had plenty of time to be out in the cold. Four lessons today and virtually no work sent from school. One random map but no information, no explanation, no questions, just a map. That was it. Hawklad spent the day doing his own thing. Nothing else for him to do.

Eventually I called it. Enough for one day. Turn the school iPad off and let’s go and get some ice cream. I’m actually half tempted to tell him not to switch the iPad on tomorrow as well. Currently what is the point to this school at home project.

So ice cream it was. As I was walking back with the goodies. Then definite proof that Yorkshire Birds are a breed apart.

How long do I have to sit on this big egg before it hatches.

Without doubt the academic high of the day.

Predator

Every year one of the great PREDATORS of our planet makes an appearance here. Forget your Great White Shark and your ‘don’t go into the water’ scream. Here it’s don’t go on the grass and whatever you do, Don’t Stand on one of these monsters.

Great White Sharks hunt alone, these beasts hunt in packs.

It’s not ‘You’re going to need a bigger boat’, its ‘You’re going to need a thicker shoe’.

It’s definitely an angry food….

So another morning of missing lessons and unsettling topics. Finally enough’s enough. That’s more than enough school angst for one week. For both of us. Hawklad was ordered to play on his new FIFA game (surprisingly he accepted that order without much protest). I went outside to change both blown car headlights. I know which task I would prefer to be doing…..

In the old days changing a bulb was an easy job. Open the bonnet, remove the old bulb, put in the new one. No tools required. Bask in the glory of being an official car mechanic. No need for that Mark 1 Escort Haynes Car Manual. People used to give them as Christmas Presents…..those were the days.

All those years later, all those years of technological progress and I find myself outside in the freezing Yorkshire rain. Briefed on the trials ahead via a helpful 10 minute YouTube video. A smorgasbord array of required tools crammed into my pockets. Years of progress mean that to change a car headlight bulb I now need to

– open bonnet

– unscrew and remove the front grill,

– remove the wheel arches

– remove the front bumper

– unclip the headlight unit

– remove the headlight unit

– unclip the broken bulb using a technique very similar to the sixth move of doom

– put on gloves as touching the new bulb will apparently cause a thermal nuclear explosion

– then reassemble the car…..

Unbelievably after two hours the process was completed. Ok the car might be out of diesel, it may well fall to bits the next time it’s reaches 30mph but at least the headlights are working.

Now to venture onto the lawn to pick up next doors dog’s poop. Yes I will be entering the land of the predator. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Warning

No contact from school again about Hawklad. Now one day from what is supposed to be his return. No plans in place. No discussions. Not impressed. Very unsettling. Change subject before rant starts.

There aren’t many things more unsettling to me than when I’m are happily driving along a road and an approaching car flashes their headlights at me. Or someone puts there hazard warning lights on randomly as you drive past them. Especially when you can’t figure out why. I’m I even the target of that, is it aimed at someone else, was it mistaken identity, was it an accident. What’s wrong. Is my petrol cap open. Is a police speed camera just round the corner. Is there a giant dinosaur waiting to pounce behind those approaching traffic lights.

The uncertainty just unsettles me.

Well I have the solution. It’s my one big invention. My route to fame and fortune.

All cars should be installed with a special keyboard on the steering wheel. The keyboard will have large keys you can press in those light flashing moments. Rather than just randomly sending out a vague message to the approaching car, a giant lcd screen on the front of the car (so large that it partly obstructs the windscreen) will display a detailed warning message. These can be preprogrammed. No confusing henceforth. For example my available warning light options would be

* Children next to road…..

* Animals on the road…..

* The road surface is dangerous…..

* Warning, The Cops……

* Hi Sister, have you been shopping…..

* Your driving like a moron…..

* Your car is falling to bits……

* Get your Mobile out, Pokemon nearby ready to be caught……

* Put your Mobile down you numpty…….

* Turn your Full Beam headlights off you selfish lemon……

* It would be so nice if you wouldn’t mind getting back on your side of the road…..

* Ha Ha Your missing a once in a lifetime sunset behind you….

* Turn your music down your not at a Metallica Concert……

* Stop looking at that bird in the sky, YOUR supposed to be driving……

* UFO sighted, danger of alien abductions……..

Well I think it’s a great idea. That’s distracted me. Sometimes even parents need a distraction….

Garage

Who would have thought a year a go that a trip to the garage would so resemble a decontamination scene from the movie Outbreak. You arrive and you are greeted by someone in a full face Perspex visor and gloves. A clear bag is held out at arms length for me to drop my car keys into. They are sprayed with something before the bag is closed. I’m asked a number of health questions and told to keep my face mask on at all times. Then ushered into the building through a roped off side door. I’m then directed to a clear screen and the masked service engineer discuss my 4 wheeled bag of rust. I’m then pointed to a tray with a car key – clearly recently sprayed. After I have picked the key up another person with full head protection takes through a separate door and pointed towards the service pool car parked in a separate roped off part of the car park. I’m then given verbal instructions on how to return with the car. I have to park next to the car wash in the roped off return zone.

Wow.

Kind of makes me wish I had cleaned my car now. It is a right state. Feeling guilty about that….

And if you think that’s decontamination. It’s not a patch on what I had to go through on my return to our house. Hawklad wasn’t taking any chances.

Lopsided

I sometimes worry that you think I’m a little drunk some days. The photos might look a little slanted. In my defence I have been tea total for years and struggling to get straight photos is down to living in the hills. Or maybe it’s because I tend to just be one second away from tripping over.

One of the highlights of the week these days is taking the car for a little run out. It doesn’t like sitting doing nothing. It seizes up and battery has a habit of going flat. Sounds a bit like me….. So once a week I take it for a 5 minute drive. Just along a few of our narrow country lanes. Most of them like this one are not wider enough for two cars. No motorways here.

Hawklad won’t currently come with me. Doesn’t feel comfortable enough. No point pushing that. He said that he will try to come with me starting in November. He stays at home hence it’s only a 5 minute trip. When I get back it’s time for full decontamination to keep him happy.

I thought I would take a photo of this one particular stretch of lane. It’s a favourite of mine. I would frequently run down here on my longer pre pandemic runs. Why is it a favourite?

It’s relatively flat. No ups and downs. Here that is such a lovely feeling. But even here I can’t get a truly level picture. But I will settle for this. At least I’m not falling over. Yet.

Bee

Slightly unnerving BEEing (being) eyeballed by this woolly friend. Couldn’t work out if it was admiring my silky garden football skills or was waiting for a Rich Tea biscuit. I lived in footballing worship hope until a biscuit was handed over and the woolly one then walked off.

Not always but occasionally life balances itself out. This morning I finished my last bit of paid work before the company basically shuts down for a couple of months (maybe longer). So no money coming in. As I closed the work laptop the phone rang. It was the garage, they still can’t get the parts needed for my cars poorly braking system. They will keep trying but the repair work won’t happen much before May. That’s a bit of a result. Won’t BEE (be) using the car much at all and that’s one hefty bill kicked into the long grass.

Talking about long grass. Last year someone gave me a wild bee hotel. The poor souls are struggling here so I thought I would do my bit. A quiet corner in the garden has been allowed to go wild. To be factually correct that should have been described as – I have let a part of the badly overgrown garden to go even wilder than the rest of the mess…

Anyway in the wild corner I have carefully located the bee hotel. Still no little takers after many months. I remember my Dad telling me that the first bee you see in spring is probably looking for a new home. He was a stubborn Yorkshireman so I never dared to question his apicultural knowledge. So our first bee of the season arrived.

A bee clearly fixated on trying to squeeze under the back door and get into our house. I tried showing the bee the currently vacant and palatial hotel. As hard as I pointed at the hotel’s front door, the bee just ignored me. Even a little honey failed to entice the bee. UnBEElievable (Unbelievable)

My question to you. What is the bee phrase for ‘Sorry pal your not coming in here. This thing I’m pointing at is your free of charge new house. I will even feed you each day.”