Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Home: just like a holiday but with more responsibilities

You may recall, I claimed that holidays are just like being at home, only harder work. I think I may have been wrong. Shocking isn't it? Me, wrong. My world-view has taken a battering.

The thing about being on holiday, is that nothing is really your responsibility, other than trying to keep the whole family alive, fed and out of prison. OK, so some days even achieving one of those feels worthy of some sort of medal, but once you get home, you've got to do all that and more. On holiday, if the radiators are making a funny rattling noise? They're not mine! If the DVD player grunts and clatters mysteriously when you press switch it on? Who cares! If the side panel is falling off the bath? Meh! If the garden is an overgrown jungle of weeds? Pah! I was going to the beach anyway.

Meanwhile... back home.... if the circuit breaker for the whole of the downstairs has tripped? That's my freezer and fridge that have defrosted, my carpet that is soaked, my life that is filled with rotting food. If the cat has shredded the arms of the sofa? That's my sofa that's threadbare. If the cold air sneaks in through the gap under the window behind the desk? That's my cold feet, my heating bill, my masonry repair job. If the pipes start banging every time the hot water comes on? That's my air hammer to fix. And then there's the car...

A month or so ago, the bonnet catch stopped working and after topping up the engine with oil I couldn't close the damn thing. Fortunately I was at work at the time, and with the help of my colleagues we fettled it until it closed. (I say "we", actually, two of my colleagues did it while I stood by looking useless and saying things like "what's that sticky out bit for?" in a sudden rash of incompetence). The bonnet then closed, we went on holiday and I promptly forgot all about it. Now the bonnet won't open.

On the last day of our more recent holiday, the boot catch stopped working. Overcoming my previous rash of incompetence, I managed to find a way of tweaking it into closing, by manually moving the catch as I swung the boot down, lifting the handle, sticking my tongue out, standing on one leg and praying to the flying spaghetti monster. That got us home, but was clearly a last hurrah on the part of the return spring. Because yesterday the trick no longer worked. The catch can no longer be manually swung into place. So now my car sits on our drive, unlocked, boot unlatchable, and the garage can't take it till next Thursday. Please don't steal my car, m'kay? And if you do, don't try to top the oil up, the bonnet won't open*.

And then of course, there's the broken wing-mirror indicator light cover, from where I drove into a post in Tesco carpark, that I'm too embarrassed to even explain any further. And the mystery warning light that only comes on when it rains, because of a corroded cable. I keep reminding BigBear of our friend who broke her wing-mirror and reckoned that was reason enough to replace the whole car. With a brand new Jaguar. I don't seem to be winning that argument. Apparently the fact that we have a whole other car (BigBear's) that we basically never use is apparently a good enough reason not to actually need another car.

* PS. I'm wiring it closed from the inside tonight, so any of you proto-twoccers out there, there's nothing to see here, move along...

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