Tag Archives: puncture

Punctures, Poetry and Police Procedurals

Sorry, after the events of the day, which included quite a lot of activity in the shop, I went home, had a puncture, called Green Flag to change the wheel (after the debacle of a few years ago) and embarked on my usual routine of wasting time. I was napping by midnight, when I should have been blogging and am, as usual, slightly ashamed of myself. However, I will get over it. In fact, I have. When I checked my emails this morning I find I have had two poems accepted by the Frogmore Papers.

Contrast this with yesterday. Yesterday I told you about a magazine that said it would “aim to” get back to me in three months. The Frogmore Papers got back to me in fourteen days. They have been about for a while and get plenty of submissions (“over 350” this time, according to the note) so it must be hard work. I’m going to modify my words of yesterday slightly – I’m not developing an artistic temperament, I’m developing a loyalty to people who work hard and make things easy for me.

Later this morning I’m off for a new tyre – by the time I’d got off the ring road to a quiet place to change a tyre it was beyond repair. It didn’t have a lot of life left in it, so this isn’t too bad, not like the time I ruined a brand new tyre by having to run with it flat for half a mile until I could get off a busy main road.

In fact, by the magic of modern technology, I have been to have my tyre replaced, sitting outside in the sun reading a crime novel and keeping my social distance. I’m back on tartan noir. You can’t escape it these days. The books are OK, but it’s a silly name. Two languages and black tartan? Really?

Time to make lunch now, then I may try a spot of poetry and some literary criticism. Or quizzes and a nap. The course of the afternoon has not yet been decided.


I thought I’d give you Gannets today – from Bempton Cliffs in May 2017, when the weather was better, and we were allowed to travel.

It also ties in with the tartan noir, as they have quite a lot of Gannets in Scotland, as Tootlepedal’s holidays over the years have demonstrated.

After the Lord Mayor’s Show…

I don’t know if the expression used in the title will be familiar to some of my overseas readers. It is often rendered as “After the Lord mayor’s Show comes the dustcart.” I assume it has been bowdlerised over the years, as the material collected after the show was clearly horse manure and not dust.

To sum up our day- seaside, egrets, owl,marshes, magic. And so Act One ends with out happy couple heading off into the sunset…

Actually it’s a bit early for sunset but the sun is falling and there is a hint of colour in the sky.

The conversation is interrupted by a “Ping!” and a warning light on the dashboard. It was the one that warns about a tyre losing pressure. No big worry, as they do it regularly and you have to pump them up.However, I did wonder…

I reset it. My reasoning is that if it doesn’t go again for weeks there isn’t a problem, but if it sounds again in a day or two you have a slow puncture.

Twenty miles later, it sounded again. By this time we were back in Sutton on Sea and I pulled into the Car park and called Green Flag. After the debacle of our last wheel change I didn’t want to risk it in a deserted car park in the growing dusk. (Actually it was nearly 4.30, so not quite night but getting uncomfortably close for a man with poor form in recent tyre changes.

I decided to walk down to the toilet as we’d had several drinks on the trip, and found that they were locked. It was 4.31, which is how I know the time.. I just checked – most of the toilets round there are locked at 4.00, apart from the ones that are locked on Sundays and the ones that are locked all winter. It can’t be an economy measure as the lights were still on in the locked toilets.

I think it’s just a way of inconveniencing elderly visitors.

Fortunately, by the time I got back to the car and took the spare out, the man from Green Flag arrived. This is top quality service, as well as being a lot cheaper than the AA.

We were soon back on four wheels and 200 yards later we were outside the chip shop. The darkened, closed chip shop. After a number of average visits it’s only the fact we’ve been going there for 30 years that keeps us going. They really are pushing their luck. I’d been looking forward to chips too.

We went further down the coast. It was dark by the time we reached Skegness and selected KFC for our meal. It’s good, reliable, has toilets and a car park. And it isn’t McDonald’s. McDonald’s are OK for snacks but this was our evening meal. We do not have high standards…


Wicked Zinger Meal – why can’t they just call it a chicken sandwich meal?

It would be nice to report that we had an excellent meal and an uneventful trip home. We did have a good meal, mostly, but that will be another post. We didn’t quite have an uneventful journey home.

The conversation went like this.

“You should have stopped picking your nose fifty years ago.”

“I was clearing an obstruction in my nasal passages.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“Do you have any tissues?”

Rustling in bag.

“No, but I’ve got a spare serviette from KFC.”

Sometimes, when you are driving, you just can’t manage a decent nose blow to clear your nasal passages and a good prod has to suffice. Unfortunately, when you are on Warfarin, a good prod can result in copious bleeding and a lecture on the habits of small boys and grown men being far too much alike.

We saw another owl later. First we saw the reflected light of its eyes as it flew across the road in front of us, then again as it turned towards us for a better look, which also enabled us to the the dumpy brown shape of what was probably a Tawny Owl. which isn’t a bad final memory of the day. With any luck, when we look back, we may forget that I had a serviette stuffed up my nose at the time.

A Crowded Day…

I had a blood test this morning so I hauled myself out of bed at 6.30 and muttered my way around the house.

By 7.05 I was yelling abuse at someone who was having trouble lining up his car to take a ticket from the machine and gain access to the car park. Unfortunately I’d already wound my window down in readiness to reaching for my ticket so he heard more of my comments than I’d really intended. The atmosphere, as we stepped out of our cars after parking, was a touch frosty.

At 7.10 I was ready and waiting with ticket 110 clasped in my hand. At 7.14 they called ticket 103. I read some more of my book on Vikings and watched the big screen with their advert for the NHS. I’m not sure why they need to spend money on promotional films, it’s not like there’s a rival health service or anything.

They got to me just after 7.30, which wasn’t too bad. I think I probably passed, as the blood seemed to flow well. In fact it was a bit tricky to stop it. There has been no phone call so I’m hoping to get at least two weeks before another test.

Back at the car I checked my leaky tyre and noticed it was looking quite flat. This only affected the bottom of the tyre but these things have a tendency to spread. As I’d blown it up less than 24 hours earlier I decided action was needed.  My original plan had been to slot it in between jobs in the afternoon, but this clearly needed action now.

My local garage opens at 7.00 so they put the spare on for me. There were two nails in the leaky tyre, and, to make things worse, considerable wear inside the tyre where the tracking appears to be out. I’m going to pick up the new tyre tomorrow morning and it looks like I’ll be getting the tracking done soon too. I’m definitely not buying expensive tyres again – I’ve had nothing but bad luck with this set.

After that I had time to impersonate Hemingway writing in a Parisian cafe. I was actually in McDonalds in Arnold but my intentions were good. I was catching up on my haiku challenge, which I mentioned a couple of days ago.

On Sunday I didn’t write any, so today I have twenty to do. At the time of writing I have done nine. This isn’t too bad as it means I’m pretty much in the same position as I was yesterday – just a day behind. I’m seven days in and have two hours to write thirty three lines of non-rhyming poetry. They don’t even need to be good. That shouldn’t be a problem – disappointing haiku are one of my specialities.

I will cover this question of quality in a post later in the week.

We had thirteen parcels to pack this morning, plus a few minor jobs, which neatly filled the three hours.  I posted the massive lot of royalty medals just before lunch and notice we have sold one already.

On my return home I spent an hour or so reading WP, including catching up with escapetothebarn.

Next I had to drop Number Two Son off at the station as he’s flying back to Malta from Stanstead tomorrow. Julia had some extra hours today so it was just a short trip to The Meadows where I waited 20 minutes for her to finish and took some pictures through the rainy windscreen. The “Meadows” is not a very accurate description.

I wasn’t sure if I had enough rain in the picture so I took one of my mirror too.


Rain in a rear view mirror

We had chicken thighs and mediterranean vegetables for tea, mainly because we had a lot of courgettes to eat. We also had rosemary from the garden and ready chopped garlic from a jar.

I’ve decided that life is too short to chop garlic.


Like a Stork, I have a Big Bill

No parcels today, no coins, no postcards of dubious taste.

The car is in for its annual MOT test, plus a service and an examination of a coolant problem. Or a “no coolant” problem, to be precise: it’s using nearly as much water as diesel. Fortunately it seems to be ending up under the car so should be easy enough to fix.

On top of that, one of the tyres looked a bit flat on Sunday, and triggered the tyre pressure warning light. The sidelight warning light has been going on and off for months, though the sidelight is still working, and I suppose under the new rules this will cost me money too.

I can’t help thinking that my last VW did a quarter of a million miles without leaking and had no warning lights to go wrong.

To fill my carless day I am performing a study of daytime TV. I started with Quincy ME and have now moved on to Storage Hunters – UK. The have brought couple of the American regulars across because we don’t seem to have enough homegrown idiots.

I’m currently watching Combat Dealers. It’s an antiques programme, but with some unusual stock.

After that I may need a cup of tea, as TV watching can be quite onerous.


I had the tea. Then, just before lunch, the garage rang.

The water leak is likely to require a new water pump, which is not going to be cheap. The tyre has a screw through it and needs repair. The warning light, of course, needs attention. Warning lights, it seems to me, are always going wrong and needing expensive attention. It’s almost as if they have been there to cost motorists money.

Imagine a big sigh here.

Apart from the money, they will need to have the car for another day, though I’m hoping that will be next week.

At least it gives me a chance for a postcard and a pun about a big bill.

It’s 12.16 now and I feel like I’ve done enough. Blog, TV research, pun. This afternoon I may try a limerick and a nap before the quiz programmes start.

For now, lunch calls.

This is a picture of tomatoes in the Mencap garden, I feel in need of a peaceful picture.