Yes, those are the exact words the husband used to describe last Friday’s happenings. My almost-14-years-old car hasn’t been going well at all and we were told at its last service that it wouldn’t pass the next MOT in December. So we have prepared ourselves for the demise of my trusty little car. As you can see from the pictures it was also my trusty, extremely dirty, little car.
Last Friday was the day set to take the car on its final journey to the scrap yard. A journey of about twenty miles from where we live. We set off at about 10 a.m., intending to leave the car and then go to Banbridge for coffee in the Greenbean. The husband decided to drive my about-to-be-scrapped car while I drove along behind in his car. We didn’t want to go too fast because the old car wasn’t going well. After about seven miles the husband suddenly swerved onto the wrong side of the road. I couldn’t believe my eyes! He immediately headed back to the right side of the road and I realised that the passenger side front wheel had come clean off! The husband managed to run the car onto the grass verge and come to a stop. I stopped behind him and we tried to think what to do. We’re in the AA so calling them would be a good place to start but neither of us had reception on our mobiles. So I drove to the nearest town, about two miles away, and made the call to the AA. I was informed that the call would cost me 14p per minute. It didn’t really matter how much it cost; I had to make the call!
Tell me; is the Northern Ireland accent really so hard to understand? First it took several attempts for the person I was speaking to get the membership number correct. He then asked me what was the problem. I told him that the wheel had come off my car. He thought I said that the wing mirror had come off! I really wanted to ask him if he thought I was some dumb woman who would call the AA because she’d lost her wing mirror. But I didn’t. Firstly because he probably wouldn’t have understood what I was saying and secondly because it would have cost me 14p a minute for the pleasure. The conversation continued, slowly, as I tried to explain where the car was located. Between Rathfriland and Castlewellan. That was too much for him. I had to start and spell the place names! Anyway, we finally got it all sorted out and he told me I was a priority case because the car was in a dangerous place. I could expect someone to come out without an hour.
I drove back to where the husband was waiting with my poor three-wheeled vehicle. We found a suitable wee place, that was well off the road, to pull the husband’s car into. And we waited. And waited. And waited. Thankfully I had my knitting in the car. I actually carry two projects in the car these days; knitting and crochet. During daylight hours I can crochet but when it’s dark I knit. Now I know we were stopped there when I could have crocheted but I had taken the crochet project out of the car because I’d run out of yarn. Unknown to the husband, I intended to buy more on our way home! Anyway, I started knitting. This is a simple blanket project made up of different coloured strips of garter stitch, 25 stitches wide. During the time we waited for the AA I managed to knit approximately two hundred rows! Yes, we waited a long time. I drove back to Castlewellan and phoned again and I was told they’d be out in ten minutes. It actually took about two hours in the end before the pick-up van came.
After that things happened quite quickly. They loaded my poor old car onto the back of the van – it took several attempts but they managed it eventually – and then we made our way to the scrap yard. This is an amazing place and so busy. I’ve never been to one before so it was very interesting. This is my car on weighbridge - first weighed while on the pick up van and then the van was weighed when my car had been lifted off. My car weighed less than a ton so I was allowed £70 for it. Not a lot really. The petrol tank was half full as we’d re-fuelled before realising that the car just couldn’t go on any longer.
Look at this heap of scrap metal; that’s where my car is destined! The men working there thought I was very strange to take photos of all that was going on. The husband told them I was sentimental! I have to admit that I felt a little bit sad going away and leaving the car there.
There she is beside her final resting place. They decontaminate all vehicles before they are crushed. It's all very environmentally friendly!
Well I really hope that I won’t have quite such an adventurous day any time soon. Having the wheel come off is quite enough to satisfy my adventurous spirit!
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