There is an old saying that problems come in threes. I was cynical: people face many problems and they can always group them in threes. From personal experience problems always come at Christmas. All sorts from serious to trivial. This year three problems of the same kind, all car related, have arrived together at Christmas. Not serious but all perfectly timed to create maximum inconvenience.
Driving home on Friday night, just starting to relax into my two week Christmas holiday when my car kindly informed me it was feeling sick. It did this by sounding its alert “bong” and simultaneously lighting three amber lights on the dashboard console. “Please note”, it said, “I have switched off the traction control, the ABS and the automatic parking break/hill hold due to a fault which I have just detected.” It didn’t initially tell me that it had also switched off all the parking aids, but it noisily warned me with high whistling noise when I arrived home and selected reverse gear to park. The AA man who came to check it out next day couldn’t fix it but said it was OK to drive – he was sure we would remember to use the manual hand brake – but get it fixed before it got icy. If the on-line booking system has worked the garage should start working on it tomorrow. I hope they can fix it. I’m not going to use it for long journeys away from home and in four days I’m going to Suffolk – a 420 mile round trip. Any other time but Christmas there would be three days to get it sorted! Fingers crossed.
Saturday night. About to go out to a party and (visiting) daughter number 1 casually enquires why the battery light “sort of doesn’t go out” when she is driving her car. She blamed it on the local roads or the streams as she took to calling them before graduating to call them rivers. It was apparently our fault her car was “poorly” because a) we lived in a stupid place only accessible by “roads that had lakes round every bend” and the lakes were caused by too much rain caused by global warming caused by – you’ve guessed it – my husband, daughter 2 and myself because we have a car each. Mmm not like her then, one car to herself too! Anyway, nothing a 10 minute job to tighten the fan belt wouldn’t put right we thought, but as I type the 10 minute job has taken all day: severed bolts, cracked alternator casing and a host of other little problems designed to frustrate. A trip to the scrap yard for a new alternator is now scheduled for tomorrow. What fun for Christmas Eve, but I suppose it beats shopping.
And tonight (Sunday) as daughter 1 sits in the back of daughter 2’s little car – she needed a lift home from work – she got her feet wet. Both rear footwells were about 0.5cm under water! The little car must have a leak! No chance of getting that fixed before Christmas.
So now I hope that the problems do only come in threes and that our fourth car will not catch the seasonal spirit