Today and Today (and hopefully tomorrow)
I was expecting today to be a trip to the dayjob followed by baby fun at home and some musicking and telly before bed. This is what happened.
In the morning a ceramic plant pot fell of the kitchen windowsill and hit a cat feeding bowl on the ground, smashing both.
I got to the dayjob and spent a few happy hours discussing existence with a colleague before J called to say she had had an accident (or rather an incident) in the car. She had been driving her car (the make of which we'll not mention but let's call it a Renault Clio Elize, five doors from 2001) with the baby on board, heading to the doctors for a checkup. Just as she left the village the bonnet (hood for you across the pond) flew up and jammed in place so she couldn't see what was going on. She pulled over to the side of the road, glad to be alive (which she would have been if circumstances had been slightly different) and called me on her mobile. I left the day job after calling the breakdown service and then took over the watching of the car while she went home with the baby. I had a few hours to wait for the breakdown person and was glad to see J and the baby when they brought sandwiches, crisps and chocolate. I spent the rest of the time watching trains go past and reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
The breakdown guy arrived and took the car to a garage. When I got home the telephone calls began. The insurance company would not pay up because this was classed as a manufacturing problem. The company that made the car would not take responsibility because they had been dragged through a BBC programme after many similar accidents with their cars had ended in fatalities. They had had the cars tested by VOSA who deemed the cars were safe if (and I'm paraphrasing) they were either well maintained or the owner knew how to shut the bonnet properly. When I had finished talking to the person from the car company I wanted to call her back and ask if they could provide detailed instruction so we would know when the bonnet had been properly closed - as it seems a satisfying 'clunck' sound and months of the thing not making any movement were not good indicators. Maybe I'll call them back tomorrow.
This isn't an accident. All owners and dealers of these cars were warned by letter about the problem. Except the garage that sold us the car did not do so. It will be interesting to see where this leads. The car is now sitting in a garage in the nearby town with its bonnet stuck up.
When we finally did get out for a much needed walk around the village we bumped into a man who was, it turned out, trying to open his bonnet. He told us, "I drove to Suffolk and hit a tree." We told him what had happened to us and pondered the Yin and Yang of it all.
Then I did the washing up, put a newly scrubbed cat bowl on the drying rack, only for it to slip out and smash in the sink. "Un-f*cking-believable" I said to myself and went to tell J. We had a good laugh and decided not to leave the house for while.
If you drive a Clio you may want to read this and this.