There she was with a dead, dead as the possum on Davy Crockett’s hat, battery. The battery she is f…ed.
And of course, of course dear heart, the discovery should happen on Christmas Eve, when the closure of the world commences. Why do things go wrong on ‘no absolutely any way you are going to get some help days? Murphy of course. Not even the shock therapy of jump leads would spark a reaction. Her heart was quite broken. So darling younger beloved daughter had to take a cab to the airport (I am one of those with the always have someone waiting at arrivals kind of romantic) and facing another day with comatose England, delighted to find that Halfords was open. To battery to buy! Oh why did I cancel the AA membership – is it a curse?
Tubes still hungover, bus to Putney. Eleven o’clock and the sun fading fast (damn you winter) I found three young lads working, which I am sure they were reluctant to do. Nifty stuff though, punch in the registration and computer delivers battery needed – except no batteries in stock. Cough, cough. Tally Ho! To Wandsworth she must go – bus, another bus, waiting for another bus and dark by one pm. Cold, miserable, over this bloody nonsense till ghostlike in non-business mode, the doors opened and the battery was bought. With wrench and scant directions of how to replace. Needless to say, the walk back to the bus depot, avec cadaver of new battery biting into the shoulder bag, I made it home with more determination than Lady Macbeth to do the dirty and get the little car rumbubling again. Did I mention the mortal fear of blowing myself up in the process?
With surgeons hands at the steady, careful, careful, undo the plate – oh shit there goes the bolt into the depths of car never to come out the other end. Bah humbug – moving on. Old heart out, new heart in, the leads are too small for the new terminals! What the ….! The thought of having to do the trek again was just too much and far to early for wine, so called Halfords. Imagine if you will the explanation of this thingy does not fit onto that thingy. Oh, said the man, some have more casing around the terminals, simply pry them off and bob is your in law for life. By now I am Medusa – spanner and hatred are a great combination, not without the grease and wound inflicted. Now she is bleeding but disregards like Rambo the gashed hand and scarlett fluid dripping on the battery. James Bond never had to put up with this shit … remember the line, but I am now single and there are no Galahads on the horizon.
Voila! Success! The purring of motor is a feat this lady has never experienced before. I have changed the battery on my car, with tools, without blowing myself up. You needed to be here to experience the euphoria of that moment – I was mechanic supreme. Have mastered a new skill, have overcome the iffy cannot do this from the past. In the dark. It’s three pm. Dutifully I return to Halfords to donate the dead organ and explain to Mohammed about the thinny that fell into the bowls of under the bonnet – and whoosh, he produces a magnet pointer thing, retrieves thinny and all is well with the world.
So empowered I was, returning to the flat I vowed this woman power needed more endorsement. Flurry in furious gone to the head fervour. Gone are the Christmas decorations (after all we have been doing Christmas for a month already) and onto Elizabeth Bennet.
For me, this day, now already four hours into night, means only one thing. Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Austen. Some may swoon over Darcy, I over Elizabeth. Candles lit, wine poured and Lizzy. All the hours of Lizzy, literature and eventually, trying to get the grease out from under my nails.
Pity about the newly painted nails, but ’tis nothing to the pioneering achieved today.
One small step for Karenkind, and if I can do it … you can too.
The small achievement is enough to dream of empire making. Avec Sauvignon blanc …
Images Twitter, Vintage Everyday.