The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for March, 2018

Once, Twice, Three Times Unlucky

Posted by Exile on March 10, 2018

They say bad luck comes in threes. So let’s hope it’s all over now.

This month hasn’t been good to me. In fact, it’s been positively cruel. The misery started about ten days ago on the motorway. In absolutely appalling weather, I was driving home after visiting my aged mother-in-law and had a bad puncture. The tyre deflated almost instantaneously and I had to pull over into a snow filled hard shoulder. Oh well, I thought, on with the spare. Shouldn’t take long.
But no. Not that easy. My spare is held in a frame under the rear of the car. It was rusted solid. Despite my best efforts, it would not free itself. I rang the recovery chappie. Yes, they could help, but there’s a two hour wait at the moment. (Best estimate!) And so the long cold wait began. Evenually he turned up and with a bit of help from a jack and a crowbar, we got the spare out. Minutes later I was on my way home but was late getting back. And cold.

Speaking of cold. The weather turned Siberian two weeks ago. It is still cold. Our house is kept warm by a wood burning stove. It has served us well for about 18 years. Now it decided to fall apart internally and the plate in the top of the stove simply broke and collapsed. A replacement was absolutely necessary. That isn’t difficult. They are readily available here and one was quickly found and bought. Getting them delivered in the winter weather isn’t quite that simple, apparently, and the whole project was delayed by three days. At least the driver helped me get it up the steps and into the house.
Pulling the old one out wasn’t that easy either. It weighed 80 Kg. That’s nearly as heavy as me. A lot of grunting and sweating went into that little job. I unpacked the new one, which weighs only slightly more than the old one and the grunting and sweating continued for quite some time.
The stove pipe had to be shortened too. The new stove being 8 cm taller than the old one. Off to the shed then and get busy with the hacksaw. That’s a half hour I will never get back. My arm still aches. But I succeeded and managed to install the whole thing in the run of an afternoon. It was a pleasure to fire the thing up and warm my aching body. The dogs seemed to appreciate the source of comfort too and promptly settled in directly in front of the thing.

Finally (I hope) I had a bit of an accident this morning. I should have been at an archery tournament. I was up in good time, had breakfast, made tea, sent the dogs out for a morning pee and was dressed and ready to go by 9:00 am.
I got in the car and drove off, confident that I would arrive in good time for the practice round before the serious archery got under way.
But no. Again. After 100 meters of motoring there was an almighty bang under the car and the steering went haywire. The coiled spring on the drivers side had shattered, pushing on the wheel and turning me to the left. The spring had a good solid contact with the tyre. Luckily, it wasn’t on the motorway. There was no way to drive the car further.
I have tools at home but no electrical supply in the car. I went to the nearest house and asked if I could ‘borrow’ some electricity to power an angle grinder. Yep, no problem. So, walk home, grab the grinder and a huge extension lead and walk back to the injured car. I had to remove the wheel and cut the spring. That didn’t take long and within minutes I had the wheel back on and limped the car home on the shock absorber. I can’t help but wonder what the repair will cost. But that will have to wait until monday. Right now I’m sitting in my warm house and I’m determined not to leave it unless absolutely necessary.

We’ll see how that goes….


Posted in General | 2 Comments »