Friday, April 18, 2008

And so farewell, faithful friend

Yes, we had a wonderful break.
Thanks for asking.

The spring sun shone.
The air was sweet, the beach golden ...
chilly evenings warmed by driftwood fires.
We were staying in an ancient stone cottage in an unspoiled setting.
First Born and Little Guy had their own rooms for the first time EVER in their lives.

We sped rickety go-karts down daisy-smothered slopes and explored nooks and crannies, secret spaces, woods, winding paths and rugged coasts.

And we had visits from the Magical Minx.

But then on the way home, just outside Okehampton on the A30 about 1/3 of the way into our journey and still 2oo miles from home, Helga - our faithful, trusty and much-loved D-reg Volvo Estate who had carried us on so many adventures together - sighed ... and died.

The AA man (we worship at your heroic feet, oh saintly smiley knight in shiny shades) arrived within half an hour.
'Cam belt,' he said. '£50 job. 90% of the time the car will be fine once the belt's changed.'
'And the other 10%?'
'It will have buggered your engine ...'

Hero tows us to garage.
'I'd say 95% likely to be fine,' said the cheery mechanic.

You've guessed, haven't you?
The odds seemed good, but Helga was not destined to leave Dartmoor, scene of so many sweet and happy romps over the last few years.

We ran through the options, none of them good.
A call to our mechanic in London confirmed the worst.
'She's scrap,' he said.
Which piece of news resulted in a payment to the garage of £96.35.

We unloaded Helga, bid her a fond farewell, and stuffed our luggage into a cab, balancing the surfboards on our heads.
Cab to Exeter = £40.
More unloading - this time into a hire car = £136.
(Though FB & LG were very excited to be traveling in such a posh car with a working radio etc.)

9 hours after we set out, we arrived home - tired, hungry, car-less and in debt.

Big smelly stinky bummer.
(Pix to follow - I have other fish to fry right now.)


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

That is indeed a monstrous bummer. Sending sympathy. (Glad it didn't happen on the way TO your holiday, though - and glad, too, that you had such a good time.)

Leslie Hawes said...

Well, Surstromming!
I am so sorry. Only Volvo owners understand the loss. My condolences.

Anonymous said...

Life can throw many challenges at us..xx homelesschicken

Unknown said...

Poor Helga, she was such a trouper. I think she was trying to tell you that she didn't want to leave the southwest. I think you should listen!

With the upcoming events I might suggest that a bus be put on your shopping list.

Anonymous said...

Volvo in Batter? x homelesschicken

Debi said...

Zin - too true. There are many ways it could've been worse ...

Leslie - I can feel your empathy.

HC - doncha just know it?

Minx - my feelings exactly re SW.

HC - definitely a battered Volvo.

Unknown said...

Oh no Debi - my heart goes out to you all - not the best way to finish your break at all!

I hope that things will take an upturn v. v. soon!