Thursday, 25 June 2015
Rabbie (Robert/Robbie) Burns knew what he was talking about when he penned To a Mouse:
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
Today has been a Very Strange Day.
It started off well enough as I left Anna's for Ayr Hospital and my cancer review. All seems to be well. For that I am exceptionally thankful.
A friend had major cancer surgery today and I've just heard that she's some through it. For that I am exceptionally thankful.
Another is recovering from a heart attack and angioplasty and for that, too, I am exceptionally thankful.
And as I drove down the M6 past Penrith and the Morecambe turnoff a white transit van suddenly and inexplicably with no warning pulled out in front of me at 70 mph. I braked severely and instantly and a collision was avoided. However I suddenly realised when I put my foot on the throttle that I had no power, the engine had cut and unfortunately would not restart. I was in the centre lane with a car on my inside and no hard shoulder to escape to (a new access is being constructed) and I was on a bend. That was scary. The car drifted to a halt in the nearside lane with about 15 metres to a little break where I could get about half the car off the carriageway. So I drove the car on the battery and starter motor into the gap.
And from safety behind the barrier phoned the police and the breakdown service.
The Highways Agency came and removed the car to the hard shoulder about 100 yards further on having stopped the traffic on the motorway in order to do so.
Eventually the breakdown service came and, to cut a long story short, the car suffered from a moment of severe fuel starvation (which showed up on the inboard diagnostics) presumably as a result of my attempts to accelerate again after the severe breaking when the engine may have stalled. However I'd done some damage driving the car on the starter motor to get it out of trouble.
So instead of having the car taken to my brother's on the back of a wagon
and sorting out a repairer tomorrow morning I decided to have the car recovered to a garage here in Morecambe who have ordered the parts and will have it repaired by 1030 tomorrow at the latest (they say).
So my beloved and faithful Nighthawk lies ignominiously in a garage in Morecambe and I'm typing this in a Witherspoon near the Travel Lodge where I shall spend the night. So far as I can recall it's the first time in its 11 years that it has caused me grief. Or perhaps it was I who caused it grief.
So whilst I was standing at the side of the motorway I played the Glad Game: it wasn't raining (it had been torrential with flooding when I left Ayr) and I wasn't hurt and neither was anyone else.
I have a great deal to be thankful for this particular Thursday.