Posts Tagged ‘Halfords’

wormy gremlinsSometimes we feel the world is caving in – I’m talking trivial here: the washing machine gets blocked, the lights blow in the bathroom and the conservatory roof starts leaking. And as soon as we fix one thing, something else happens; you break a wineglass; a breakfast bowl; you lose the charger for your iPad, you take a chunk out of the freshly painted plaster in the kitchen. And though you hear your grandma telling you there are bigger losses at sea, it’s like the world has suddenly turned to mud, and there’s nowhere safe to stand.

Even the Mazda has succumbed to the pernicious wormy gremlin. Sunday was a decent day, sunny, warm for the time of year and I fancied a drive out with the top down. So I turned the key but there wasn’t a spark of juice. I’d not touched the car in a while but the battery was in good nick and it’s not been cold, so I’d expected it to be okay. It wasn’t. There’d be no driving out that day, and worse, I somehow had to get the car to the workshop the day after for its annual MOT test.

This was not a good omen!

So, it was off to town in old Grumpy to Halfords for a charger. It’s a long time since I’d needed one – maybe thirty years, and I wasn’t sure I even remembered how to use one. That’s something else when things start going wrong – we begin to lose confidence that even the basics in life – like how to charge a car battery – are still within our competence. Forty minutes later, I’m plugging the new charger in. It doesn’t work because I’ve been sold a dud. Wormy gremlins again! Deep breath, back to Halfords and another forty minute round trip – close to closing time now and fighting the urge to floor it. The staff are apologetic, falling over themselves to help. New charger works okay. A quick skim of the instructions, then whip the battery out and set it to charge.

By now the wormy gremlins have put me in a dark mood. I’ve been getting dragged down by the dying of the light – once it starts getting dark at 5:00 pm I just want to hibernate until spring – but it’s an additional kick in the guts that the Mazda might need some work now, that she might not tolerate being idle over the winter. I’d thought her spirit indestructible – it seems though she’s just as prone to the black dog as me. Perhaps that MOT test will reveal a nightmare under the gloss, then the dreams she’s kindled over the summer will be well and truly over. All this from a flat battery? Oh dear me!

Later that night, I reconnected the battery. The interior light came on and the mystery of the Mazda’s unexpected demise was solved. That light had been on for about a week – since the last time I’d sat in her – plenty of time to flatten a battery. The wormy gremlin in this case was me. I turned the key a click and she lit up, needles flicking to the ready. Another click and she turned over – not so lively as usual, but she caught and roared back to life.

Smiley faces all round.

When we’re in the throes of one damned thing after another it’s tempting to lash out at the wormy gremlins who seem to have it in for us personally. But this is self defeating, and if we can only find the space within ourselves to step outside the cycle of pernicious events, we realise the spiral of decline is largely self created and entirely self sustained. I was careless over that interior light, but that’s my nature I’m afraid, and I forgive myself.

She passed the MOT. I had her serviced too. Sparks, filters, oil-change, replacement of dodgy alternator and power steering belts, engine flush, coolant change. She sounded very pleased with herself on the drive home.

We’ll have that run out next weekend come rain or shine. And in the mean time I’ll plant snowdrops under the tree in the front garden like I’ve been saying I’ll do for years. We should always have something to look forward to.

It helps keep the wormy gremlins at bay.

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