Weekend: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I had a fairly busy weekend planned with lots of lovely fun stuff, but it took some rather unexpected less than fun turns ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The Good

Friday night I went out for my first ever tapas with N and we had a great time. This was followed by drinks with another friend – in a bar that was rather noisier than I really wanted – but it was fun and I ended up staying out later than planned because I was enjoying myself.

On Saturday, I went into London to meet up with some people from the Green Dragon group on LibraryThing. There were bookshops visited, books bought (slightly more than planned, but Forbidden Planet will do that to me), coffee consumed and cheese perused, finished off with dinner at Imperial China in Chinatown. Fabulous ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday was dinner with The Girls at our favourite Chinese buffet. Lots of fun, lots of gossip and lots of crispy duck consumed. It’s weird to think that after Saturday, I won’t be able to just nip out for lunch with them. Time with friends when I visit England will feel more precious than it ever has.

The Bad

I went to archery Sunday morning, which is usually fun but yesterday it was slightly less so. For various reasons, the target that I thought we had put out at 50 yards was actually at 50 metres so I spent 4 dozen arrows trying to figure out why I suddenly couldn’t shoot a distance that I had managed easily only a week before. That kind of thing is always frustrating, but coming on top of the end to my Saturday night (see below for details), it really wasn’t fun!

The mistake was discovered when we moved the targets for the second part of the Short National that I was trying to shoot, but which stage I had over-strained my right shoulder thinking that there was something terribly wrong with me for not being able to shoot the distance. Eeep.

Thankfully when the target was at 40 yards (not metres) I was able to prove to myself that I can actually shoot and hit the target with reasonable accuracy but my shoulder was doing a lot of snap-crackle-pop-ing as I drew the bow and this morning it is really rather painful.

I have concluded that I was having a bad EDS day yesterday because I also locked my bow arm backwards at least twice, resulting in the string catching the top of my arm quite badly. The sores and deep muscle bruising are quite delightful today. As I also tripped a number of times through the day and kept hitting door frames, I have concluded that in addition to the problems with the target distance, I was just having a really off day and behaving like Super!EDS Girl. Can I have new arms and shoulders now?

The Ugly

After having a brilliant time in London, the last thing I wanted was to get back to my car and discover that it wouldn’t start. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened at 11pm in a dark, empty station car park. Gah. At first I thought it was me, but a thorough check and repeat proved that I really did have the car in neutral (it’s a semi-automatic) with my foot on the brake.

At that stage, I called Da to let him know what was happening and then called the RAC. The only piece of luck that I had that night was that an RAC guy was just around the corner and got to me three minutes after I called.

We then proceeded to attempt the starting of my car.

After thirty minutes, he managed to get the engine to turn over and start using a wire to by-pass a wire that wasn’t working for an (at the time) undiagnosed reason. We closed the bonnet, settled into our respective transports and I attempted to drive away.

I am so glad that the RAC guy stayed to check that I set off OK. Because my car then refused to go into any gear or in fact move forwards at all. Hmm. A close inspection of the dashboard revealed that the gear indicator was blinking “F” rather than telling me what gear I was in. Unfortunately, the bulb behind that particular indicator is gone so it’s incredibly faint (something that is getting fixed pronto) which is why it did not get sorted earlier.

The tech desk at RAC was closed by this stage so that guy spent a while looking for a resolution on his laptop before concluding that he’d have to try to re-set the car computer by disconnecting and re-connecting the battery. By some miracle (see below for reasons behind ‘miracle’) this actually worked and at midnight I finally was able to drive home feeling as though I’d been hit by a truck.

The RAC guy assured me that it was a rare fault, intermittent, no need to call the mechanic because it would probably never happen again so on Sunday I happily hopped into the car and drove over to archery. After archery I drove over to the Chinese restaurant and then to a coffee shop.

At around 5.30pm, I waved goodbye to my friends, they drove off (they had blocked me in knowing that we’d all leave together) and I attempted to start the car.

Huh.

Flashing “F” again and no turning over. I called Da and he drove over with a tool roll so that we could attempt the disconnect/reconnect the battery technique. Two repetitions of this did not get the car started so I called the RAC. Again.

And then we went to a nearby Italian restaurant for coffee for an hour and a half. My quiet evening in with knitting and Battlestar Galactica was rapidly dissolving.

Eventually the RAC guy turned up, Da hid around the corner (I’d claimed to be a lone female) and the RAC guy attempted to start the car. He tried the battery thing three times. He checked all the fuses. He called the tech desk twice. He got the engine started with the wire trick, but there was still a flashing “F” and no ability to put the car in gear.

After 45 minutes he concluded that I wouldn’t get my car home under its own power so we hooked it up to his van and started to tow it home. He got me about half a mile down the road and onto a side-street before working out that it was too far to tow me (according to his sat nav, which wanted to send him on every major A-road in the country rather than the 5 miles of perfectly good B-road I usually use to get home) and declaring that the RAC could not help me to get home. I sent him away, called Da and we then set about getting his roadside assistance guys out to help.

Unfortunately, the car was now half a mile further away from civilisation and the Italian restaurant. We drove Da’s car to the restaurant, having received assurances that we’d get a ten minute warning of when the new rescue guy would be arriving, and ordered more coffee and a salad each. Just before 9pm, a tow truck whizzed past and Da proceeded to sprint out of the restaurant and run the half mile to the car to make sure that the rescue guy didn’t drive off without rescuing us. I stayed behind to pay the bill and drive Da’s car back to the scene of the crime.

During that ten minutes while I paid and drove, the new rescue guy started the car. First time. After fiddling with the gear stick for fifteen seconds. He knew way more than the RAC guys did about what was wrong with my car. With the car started and taken on a test drive around the block to prove that it would actually worked, the new rescue guy drove away (probably not believing that Da was the driver of the car but not calling us on it anyway) and we drove in convoy back to my house.

Four hours, two rescue guys and a tow truck after I left the coffee shop I finally got home.

For some reason, I am absolutely shattered today. So is Da. Can’t imagine why. Neither of slept last night after all the stress and aggravation. Beautiful, badly behaved Sarah Jane is going to the mechanic on Wednesday and neither of us dare drive her again until the mechanic has sorted her out. Another fours hours of rescues and tow trucks is not something we want!

In conclusion, there were periods of the weekend that were great and other periods that sucked piggy wonks. I had to get up bright and early today so that I could go to the hospital and get new casts of my feet made because they, er, lost the originals and that is why my new orthotics are not ready. The hospital is now doing a rush on them to get them ready before I leave. After all of the various shenanigans of the weekend, I am completely shattered and have plans to spend tomorrow hibernating in bed and then veging in front of the TV. This evening is going to be spent…in London. Again. But my sister is wonderful so I’m not complaining and Da is taking and collecting me from the station in the car that actually works

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike
    Aug 17, 2008 @ 21:41:13

    Hi Kathy

    I’m leaving a very brief message(looking back on this ‘brief’ is a relative concept!) here as Sally has just discovered your very interesting blog which I had completely failed to register – can you believe it? – OK, no need to answer that strictly rhetorical question!

    Anyway, it was great to read something of how things have been going for you, or just occasionally not going for you. On Saturday we returned from a lovely holiday in Pembrokeshire spent with Rod and Jean in a gate house in the grounds of a farm with its palatial looking house which we never actually entered. The only problem with the accommodation was that it was rather dark and more significantly the doors were far to low so I had to develop a stoop whenever going from one room to the other. We managed to take in a few walks, including a couple of coastal ones, as the weather gave us more chances than we originally thought we might have had according to a pretty downbeat forecast for the week. I took loads of pics which I haven’t so far processed – will send you one or two before too long. Have you taken any pics on your new or older camera – I’d be interested to see how the house is coming on.

    Well, I’ll finish this for now and respond more fully to your blog over the next few days – it’s great that you’re writing this as it does give me an idea of how life is for you. By the way, did you watch any of the archery in the Olympics? I’ve never watched so much sport in my life as Rod and Jean are great sport fans and I must admit that I was rather worried that I would get rather bored by this apparent surfeit, but was quite surprised that I quite enjoyed some of it and in fact Sally and I even watched some of it today – we do like the cycling and the gymnastics.

    Anyway, that’s it for now. Do hope you’re continuing to enjoy yourself.

    Love to you from us both – and to your mum and dad too of course.

    Mike and Sally

    Reply

  2. archerygirl
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 21:01:18

    Hi Mike,

    Heh, I’m kind of amused that Sally found my blog before you did! Glad you had a fabulous holiday, it sounds wonderful despite the stoop. And I knew we’d get you enjoying sport one day ๐Ÿ™‚

    I haven’t been able to see any of the archery yet. I’m going to be hunting down footage online now that I’ve got an Internet connection here. The cycling and gymnastics are always my other favourites as well.

    Love to you, hopefully we’ll be able to speak soon. Da’s computer is currently refusing to acknowledge Skype but with any luck my new machine will arrive soon and I’ll be able to get Skype working on that.

    Kathy

    Reply

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