... why I never got to the quilt shop today.
The tale starts on Saturday. Dennis used my car (whilst I was at the quilt shop and hairdressers in Penrith) to take Dad to the rugby. Afterwards Dad decided to check my car. Its his way of showing love. Dennis picked me up and I immediatley said, "This car smells of petrol. Has someone spilt something?" I was told no, but Dad had just filled me up with screenwash, which I could probably smell, and that he had checked the oil and it was OK but would need topping up soon. Dad tod me the same thing when I got back using the words, 'You'll be alright for oil for a while."
So we drove 100 miles back. Then to the hospital yesterday to deliver the African Quilt ( Receipient loved it and sat stroking it all through visiting! Woman in the bed opposite said I should open a shop.). Then today I set off for a court in Stockport, one I have never been to before. As I set off I smell the 'screenwash' and think, hmmm a smelly brand - not the one I use normally!
A litte further on a message pops up on my sat nav to the effect of; Oil warning! Stop driving now or your car will blow up. Of course I am now on the fast lane in the motorway at a part with no easily accessible hardshoulder and tons of lorries all around me. The message vanishes. I take the next slip road ( for UK readers or those with a map fetish, from M6 south onto M56 East) and the message comes up again. So I pull onto the hardshoulder and get out in the pouring rain and check the oil. There isn't any.
I ring Dad. He thinks I must have a leak if it has all gone so quickly. I ring the RAC breakdown who tip out in 20 mins flat ( but not before I have got my feet wet and cold), take one look under my bonnet and say, "Where is your oil cap?" they explain that either there is somthing seriously wrong with the engine that it has blown the cap off and let the oil all bubble up and out, or it has been unscrewed and not put on properly. Well, I didn't even know I had an oil cap. (Now, don't look at me like that - you think that mechanic knows how to do trapunto?) So guess who I rang again. Dad denies touching it - and why would he if he thought my oil was OK? So now I am worried about the engine.
I get towed all the way home, having rung the court to tell them to get another part time Judge in becuase I ain't getting to Stockport anytime fast. We go to a Nissan dealership who of course haven't got a cap in so I have to book the car in for tomorrow. However, the owner sees me, recognises me from the days when I used to go to his Rotary club and offers to take a cap off a car in the showroom and fix it today. Best case, it needs a steam wash (because that 'screen wash' smell has been hot oil splatterng all over the engine and bonnet lid) and new oil, worst case, an engine rebuild. Am I sure the cap was on tight? Hmmm.
I ring Dad to tell him I am safe and to update him. He says ( and I quote, "I definately didn't touch the cap. Unless my memory is wrong and it's not what it used to be. I definately didn't unscrew it. I'm pretty sure." Uhuh. Now I can't say I disbelieve him, but.......!
I get off the phone to find that the garage man can't get into the car. Keys don't work. Well they did this morning! Turns out having the lights on the car while it was towed has flattened the battery. They get into the car in a way I didn't see, but I am sure has landed many delinquents in juvenile detention before now.
Dennis came up, we went for coffee and took the opportunity to go to a retail park and get some shower attachment thingies we've needed for months, so that was a plus point. Back at the garage they say the engine seems to be running fine, to keep an eye on it and that will be £75 please. Phew. Not thousands for a new engine then.
So, sadly my plans to nip to a quilts shop called Patchfinders in Stockport - a new shop to me- at lunchtime did not materialise. I am a days' wages down and my feet, several hours later are still freezing cold from standing in wet grass on the M56 bank. Mind you waiting, wet and bored gives you time to think - the motorway split at that point and I did think that the irregular chevrons on the road division could be foundation pieced quite effectively, perhaps into a fabric hand-dyed to replicate the beautiful colours in the puddle of oil forming on the hard shoulder.....