Car trouble

My car has been sat on the drive since Monday. During this current lockdown I am only going out twice a week at the moment. Usually Mondays and Fridays. On these days I do my Avon deliveries put out books and pick up those that I put out the time before. I am not doing a huge amount just a dozen or so books at a time. ( I am still building up my strength after my surgery). Any other errands like shopping or picking up prescriptions that sort of thing.

This morning I loaded up my car ready to carry out my missions for the day. I went through the usual routine of starting up the engine and putting the car into reverse. I park facing inwards on the drive. However my car didn’t want to go into reverse at all. It’s an automatic so that was something of a problem. It was going from Park to Drive. Going back through the gears it went from Drive to Neutral to Park. Still no reverse.

After several attempts it was telling me to Check ESP or Check Gear Box. Each time I tried it either missed Reverse or went from Park to blank and a big judder. I was beginning to panic by this time. I shut off the engine and went back inside the house. After studying my handbook I found out that ESP is Electronic Stability Program. I was sat on the drive so I obviously wasn’t skidding or driving erratically. About an hour had gone by and I decided to give it another go. Yipee I got it into reverse, I backed out of the drive and headed off. The warning light “check ESP” didn’t go out so rather than risk getting stuck, I headed back home.

Eventually I spoke to a local garage and arranged for my car to be booked in there for Monday morning so it can be looked at. They were not promising they could fix it. It might need to go to a specialist in automatic cars. Having had a rest and a bite to eat I decided that I really did need to go out if only to pick up my books. If I say I will pick them up on a certain day then I make damn sure that I do.

I got back out to my car, started the engine, no problem this time. I set off, did what I wanted to do, even stopping to pick up my mother’s prescription. The warning did flash up but only for a second. Almost home I stopped at the top of the road to drop off a couple of books ready to pick up on Monday. ( I had already done the ones nearer to home on foot this morning). I pulled into a space for two cars, not quite close enough to the side that anyone else could park next to me. I was only stopping for less than a minute after all.

It doesn’t always pay to be confident. Even though I hadn’t even turned the engine off trouble struck. Guess what! I couldn’t reverse. I shut off the engine and tried again. Just like this morning it was skipping Reverse. This time as well as telling me to check ESP or check gear box it was also telling me to check pollution output.

Several rounds of trying it and turning off, leaving it then trying again after several minutes I gave in and called RAC. (There are other recovery services but this is the one I use). They are very busy at this time and I could be waiting for up to 3 hours. In normal times I would walk home from there, I’m not sure that I would manage it at the moment. I could possibly just about manage to walk home but not carrying everything I had with me. I’m not certain I would be able to walk back very easily. Instead I was prepared to sit and wait it out. More than anything I was worried about the fact I was taking up two parking spaces in a place where each space is taken up most of the time. I could just imagine how upset the residents would be that I was taking up so much room.

I guess I had been waiting for a little over half an hour when I gave it one more go. It went from Park to Neutral to Drive. Going back from Drive to Neutral and oh my gosh! reverse! quick move! I slowly edged back then got myself and my car back home. The warning light still on. I phoned up to let the RAC know that I had got it home but still having problems. A short time later I had a call back. As it’s not now urgent and they are busy, I am now booked in for tomorrow morning. I shall have to be up earlier than usual but at least I know that even if it isn’t fixed I will have a better idea what the problem is.

Anyway, it was worth picking up my books, I only got three back today but that was £75 worth. This was from a road I hadn’t been to since I got ill last February. Its good to see that my customers are still there after such a long time.


This one is from 2010


some secrets are good
some secrets are bad
this secret was just a secret
neither good or bad
but now it is nolonger
the cat is out of the bag
they all know
there is no more hiding the truth
they are relentless
they will not rest
a secret once revealed
is no longer a secret
in time it might be forgotten
but it won’t be a secret again

Now that they know
they will bully and cajole
until they get what they want
they will plead
some might beg
demands are made
no excuses are acceptable
now that they have realised
mother makes the best roast potatoes ever!!

A question of wind still

Back in 2009 I wrote this piece , reading through it makes me realise how long I have had these thoughts and still do. The issues have become more urgent.

A question of wind

I find it incredible in this day and age that this is even an issue.
We all know that our natural sources of power as in fossil fuels are running out. We all know that as humans we need to reduce our carbon footprint if our world is to survive. We should all want to create a better, healthier life for our children and their children and all the other generations to follow.
For centuries we have harnessed water and wind to make life easier. we are used to seeing traditional windmills although these days there are fewer and fewer still in working conditions. I did see a fair few on my holiday in Norfolk.

Now though there are a new kind of windmill …..the Wind turbine there are wind turbine farms, usually situated in remote locations. During the summer there were protests against one such wind farm being set up on the Isle of Wight not far from my home near the Hampshire coast. Local residents on the island were very much against this happening near them. At the same time there were other protests on the island involving a sit in by employees of a company that was about to close which would mean job losses for 600 people on the island. The company produce components for wind turbines. The closure of the company was due to a lack of demand for wind turbines in Northern Europe.
Now maybe I am the only one who can see the irony of this. However the Islanders are not the only people who do not want these great white structures blotting their landscape. As the months have marched slowly by in recent years I have heard of a fair few protests by residents refusing to allow a wind farm to be built near them. Maybe if the Islanders and others like them were not standing in the way of progress, then there would have been no need for the company to close and those 600 people would still have jobs (something to hold onto in this current climate).
Personally I think they should be considering the bigger picture and what these turbines mean to our future as oppossed to what future our children and grandchildren will have without them.
Whilst in Norfolk not only did we see far more of the traditional windmills than we normally see these days but there were also clusters of turbines in remote fields plus others dotted around standing alone. It was quite an unexpected view on our boat trip to see two traditional windmills seemingly next to each other although actually on opposite banks of the broad, then in the distance a solitary turbine appearing to stand between the two older structures.
The place where we were staying has a wind turbine farm just a little way out to sea. Far from being put off by the sight of these majestic towers I found them fascinating. I do not understand what all the protests are about. There are far worse things we can live near such as the electricity pylons that stretch across our countryside buzzing away day and night. If we went back in history to the days when windmills were first constructed we would probably find that they were considered to be unsightly and unwanted. Now we find them quaintly magical. Perhaps in years to come we will forget how ugly some people find the turbines. My son has just returned from his 28 days travelling across US and he tells me that these Wind Farms can be see all over the place.

I would like to say that if such a farm were to be situated near to my home I wouldn’t bat an eyelid but somehow I doubt that would be true …….perhaps the novelty would wear thin after a while but I think I would be fascinated by them for quite some time.

If such a wind farm were proposed in your local area would you welcome or reject it. If this has already happened did you protest or welcome the progress for our future?