Some days, I get to the end of the day, and realise that I could have achieved more, or at any rate destroyed less, by not getting out of bed at all. This is one of those days.
You know you’re off to a bad start when you have to write yourself a list of the three very simple tasks for the day – go to Sainsbury’s, pick up parcels from the delivery office, and buy more stamps at the post office. It took me forever to even get out of the door, mainly because Conrad was hard to please. Once I’d got him packed up in the car without too much shouting, it was already 11 am. I picked up the parcels, one of which was our wedding photos, and carried on to the main post office in town. The car showed a red warning message saying “brake failure, park safely”. This was worrying, but as the brakes seemed to work fine, I assumed it was the wrong warning and carried on. As I was on a dual carriageway there was in any case nowhere to park. I came up to the large roundabout by Milton Keynes station, and the indicators started flashing at random and another message said something about reduced engine power. Sainsbury’s was much closer, and I thought perhaps it was best to park the car and then think about what to do next. I stupidly parked the car forwards, although I know that I can only park well backwards (yes, odd). So I decided to reverse back out into the space behind, but in the process whacked my wing mirror so hard that it came apart, which is quite embarrassing. The car I had knocked appeared to have no mark or scratch at all, so I decided it was best not to leave a note, as their wing mirror was already taped up. I didn’t really want them pretending I had caused preexisting damage. Anyway, so at a slight loss at what to do, I decided to do my shopping and think about it. After a trawl around the aisles, I thought the AA might be able to help, so I got my phone out. Only I had left my mobile at home, so I hung about at the payphone, and like an even bigger fool, put £1 in to phone a freephone number, which I also forgot to retrieve. The AA duly arrived 40 minutes later, causing quite a tailback in the ferociously busy underground car park. Of course the car then started fine, showing no warning messages at all. He checked the alternator, which was also fine, and went on his way, giving me the number of the Volvo garage.
I went home, made a cheese sandwich and rang the Volvo garage several hours later – I’m not sure how four hours were consumed by feeding and changing the baby. They have suggested the car is not safe to drive. I think I’ll just stay at home writing pointless stories and cuddling my baby for a few days, in an effort to feel marginally less useless.