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Sunday, 13 November 2016

NOT Wyre Way in sections (2)

Sunday morning and I am breakfasting as usual, but having some difficulty in pouring tea from the teapot, and looking out of the window at a courtesy car loaned by my Skoda dealership.

Saturday was not good.

Full of noble intentions despite a dodgy forecast I set off early to walk what would have been the title here but without the first word.

Yeti, occasionally gives me palpitations by displaying one of its many warning lights, but usually that has been some triviality: coolant level low, or a blown bulb etc.

In buoyant mood, cruising the M6 south of Lancaster,  with coffee flask and nibbles stowed in the rucksack, I was in good time and looking forward to my twelve mile circular walk. Then the orange light that looks like a coil of wire started flashing. That light normally comes on, without flashing, at startup indicating warming up of the glow plugs, then disappears when that job is completed.

Power dropped off; we had gone into what the manual joyfully calls "limp mode". I motored on to the south Lancaster exit and looked at the manual - by now there was another warning light: a pictogram of a car engine. Pessimistically,  "perhaps I am going to need a new engine?"

Pessimistically again, "I bet the service department of my Skoda dealers in Morecambe isn't open on Saturday morning."  It was 9.15. I phoned. Without hesitation, "bring it in as soon as you can."  Twenty minutes later I was fantasising over a top of the range, four wheel drive Skoda Octavia Estate Car in the showroom whilst drinking a cup of 9.5 out of 10 coffee. "This is going to cost." 

They have an attractive and knowledgeable young lady who fronts up the service department, a masterstroke designed to take the sting out of bad news about expensive replacement parts. A valve in the exhaust system had broken. That was explained in some detail that I can't now remember, but it seems that this part is susceptible to carbon build up leading to its failure (Skoda owners beware!) Replacement cost will be circa £200 plus fitting. They will have the part on Monday or Tuesday. Without further formalities, not even a signature, I was given a Skoda Rapide courtesy car to drive home in - I know all this is going to cost, but such good service from the dealership is priceless.

Things were looking up.

By now it was too late to return to my walk. I decided on a shorter foray nearer home after a bit of shopping at Aldi, Carnforth. Rain had continued beyond the forecast.

At Aldi I marched off from parking to the store still wearing my Crocs -  I prefer them for driving - they allow me to go into cruise control and remove my right foot from the accelerator to stretch my leg and ease my dodgy knee.

The entrance to Aldi is paved with polished ceramic tiles, now wet with the rain. Within a nano-second I was horizontal in the air, then painfully on my back. Much as I wanted to sort myself out I was immediately surrounded by well meaning helpers including an off duty nurse who was taking my pulse. They bundled me into the store, summoned the first-aider who brought a chair. I then saw she had her mobile to hand and it took forcible, and unintentionally ungrateful words from me to stop her calling an ambulance.

My brow was dripping with sweat and I did feel groggy. I had taken the major impact on the upper part of my back with a secondary knock to the back of my head and I had also badly sprained my right thumb and a finger on my left hand.

Eventually I recovered enough to do my shop and drive home.

Thankfully parking on my drive, and looking forward to recumbent recuperation, I realised that in transferring my belongings from Yeti to Rapide I had left my house keys behind. Thankfully daughter Jill has spares and lives in Arnside and the day was saved.

The sprained digits are proving troublesome - last night I had to use some ingenuity to get the cork out of a bottle, but needs must...

This morning I feel fine, but perhaps fortuitously the forecast is bad enough to stop me from charging off again - another day's rest is perhaps a good thing.


afootinthehills said...

So sorry to hear of your tumble Conrad and hope any aches and pains are short-lived. In any event, I was pleased to hear that you still got your priorities right and got that bottle open against all the odds.

I assume the Yeti's EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve packed in which is common enough and not only in Skodas. £200 seems about right at a dealer as far as I can tell. I assume you were fantasising over an Octavia Scout Estate.

gimmer said...

Slipping on wet tiles - sue them
In their defence, they might casually mention crocs, which might be taken to be contributory to your fall (?):
we know about these things - our solvency depends on it - we can recommend a good testing house to provide the scientific proof - only £2500 a pop.
But seriously, I'm sorry to hear this but glad, as 'afoot' reminds us, you got your priorities right in the end and that your knees were spared this time; as you don't normally walk on your thumbs, I hope this doesn't inhibit your expeditions too much.
Are you about to succumb to the temptations of a new conveyance ? very wily, these bohemians !
It was a lovely sunny mild day here with a very special sunset (as they all are , of course - as they say in the journals, private communication to come)

Ruth said...

Oh dear. Hope you're not too stiff and aching the morning after. They say bad things happen in threes... So what's next?
Take care.

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - Thanks for the technical info. The wine was a bottle of Argentinian Malbec from Aldi - very good too.

Gimmer - It was entirely my fault for wearing the Crocs - they are lethal in the wet. I read somewhere that many hospitals ban then from operating theatres.

Eyeing up the car was definitely nothing other than fantasy, but they do seem to be very good value for money.I would prefer to have something like that fully specced if I won the Lottery rather than an exotic item at three times the price that you would be worried about parking anywhere other than in your own secure garage.


Ruth - Fortunately the weather is keeping me indoors where hopefully I can't come to much harm. I'm reading Bad Science by Ben Goldacre - you may enjoy it as it takes a swipe at quack medicine, drug companies, flawed research, manipulated statistics etc. It's a book every school kid should read before going on to adulthood.

afootinthehills said...

Excellent book choice Conrad. Every adult should read it, particularly if they no knowledge of the scientific method.

Alan Rayner said...

You don't do things by half do you! Glad you are ok but I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't ache a bit more in a couple of days.

gimmer said...

Operating theatre ban - I'm glad to hear that - such a nuisance when getting the 'oops, slipped with that one didn't we, nurse' patient into the bodybag
Now I have a good excuse for not going to Lidl/Aldi etc. - Waitrose/Harrods etc door-persons give one such a warm and cuddly helping hand
Your Yeti must be getting close to retirement now - i think you are right - my latest Audi was an absurd waste of money even after three hours of workshop time at last got it to handle as nimbly as the sales bumf promised - even then, still overpriced for what it is.
I'm intrigued by this Bad Science book you (and others) mention - must read it - it really annoys me reading 'breathless' news scoops about some magic breakthrough in science (of all disciplines) by some gullible writer, where truth and realism almost always take second place to mysticism and fantasy : fake news about US election 'issues' is one thing, but misconceived science is a crime against humanity's aching desire for eternal life and free coal.

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - Your comment demonstrates your awareness of the serious implications of "bad science", but you will be even more appalled if you read this book. It is not a full blown academic opus but all claims are supported by proper references to proper published papers in respected journals.

Sent from my iPad

Ruth Livingstone said...

Haven't read Bad Science, but Ben Goldacre is always spot on with his criticisms.

Sir Hugh said...

Ruth - sounds like you're a Guardian reader.