'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoFest; the non-events

All the best-laid plans and all that...

Dear ol' Li'l Ren went into the car hospital on that first Saturday over in Edinburgh. Annual check up. Standard procedure. Until that phone call.

Yeeecchh. Just as well I was sitting down. A bill pending equal to her Used Vehicle List Price. Oh me, oh my. I gave the go ahead. To trade her in would only then mean having to locate another car and no promise of it being the answer. Better the devil you know. Figured the investment would mean getting another five years out of the old dear. Shriek and I were hopeful.

Monday came and went. There were some difficulties. Tuesday morning arrived. Collected, paid and back to the father's place to pick him up for the 100 mile run-in of the wheel nuts. She was to go back for a 'reguage' having done that. Only a more serious problem reared its ugliness.

As we sat in the car to escape the driveway, she wouldn't start. Correction. Start, she did, but died out straight away. Not even the energy to cough or splutter. Had to gun the gas to get her onto the road. Then she cut out again. Right in the pathway of major traffic. Thank goodness she is already red, hiding the blushes. "Get her straight back to the hospital!" said the father. Which we did. "Leave her with us" said young Mike - a pleasant young hostage taker. "You've paid us a handsome ransom, the least we can do is return her in better order than she came."

Quite right too. Ninety minutes later, the father and I had consumed milkshakes and naughty-cakes and hot chocolates and apple juices and were very worried about getting our 100 miles in.

The thing is, you see, I had made up my mind to not attend two shows that day, in order to ensure the run was made, but I was NOT going to let the evening show go by the board. Mike said she was ready to go, that everything had come up clear, but they'd tinkered with the throttle to sort the idle.

Father and Ren and I set off up over the Forth into the Kingdom of Fife. As we waited in traffic at one point, she cut out... got over that. We stopped first at North Queensferry to admire the engineering marvels that are our bridges there.

The railway bridge has just been made a UNESCO World Heritage SiteThe granite stone lists all the names of men who lost their lives in its construction. Health and safety much improved now - but still, a life was lost with the new bridge last year...

We piled back into Ren... same cut out problem. Once off and running, she was okay (ish) but not her usual smooth self. Given the hospitalers had given her almost entirely new innards, it was disconcerting.

It took a little while to locate our next stop - dad had decided to make the trip productive with a geocache hunt. Shriek wanted in on this one.

It took a little bit of writhe and wriggle through some thicket, but there it was, under a pile of stones. It was duly opened, signed, tokens exchanged. Shriek picked the doggy jigsaw. Nice one.

The round mile trek was enough for the father and me, so piling back into the reluctant Ren, we then drove for ninety minutes to get the 100 miles under her wheels. We actually completed 108... and another major cut-out in prime time traffic as we got back into city. Tsk.

Mike and his fellow ransomers had me on their forecourt sharp-like on the Wednesday morning. The pleasant young manager was most concerned. "Can't have you driving West with that happening... leave her with me." I was not about to give up on any more of my planned festival attendance. Midday came and went and I had to get to the Udderbelly for Austentatious, meeting my cousin thrice removed (she's Aussie born!). We had a very fun one hour and when we came outside again there was a message from Mike. Ren was ready. Again.

Dashed for a bus to the place of ransom and surgery. Mike assured me that the problem had indeed been with the throttle and it was now fully fixed. He'd seen to it himself. What is more, the fellows had given Ren a hot spa... AND had clubbed together to buy me a bouquet and huge box of chox!!! A [miniscule] bit of the ransom returned.

What is more, Li'l Ren is purring again, smooth and shiny. Like a bought one.

Dashed back to drop her at the father's; grabbed a sandwich and back onto the buses to get to my next show. A hilarious romp of a very particular Fringe kind, involving the least expensive props, ham acting and a good deal of giggling.

I was back on track with only one day left.


  1. Goodness me what an ordeal. My word. You are blessed with way more patience than I am...of course as discussed earlier this week. We must let go of worries we cannot control or fix. Thank goodness Mike and team got to the bottom of Ren's issues and you, Father and Shriek were able to have a nice road trip and you made your events.
    Hugs HiC

  2. Thank goodness the Ren seems to be well and truly fixed. Nothing worse than a vehicle whose engine cuts out at random. Mike sounds like an absolute treasure.
    Cheers, Gail.

    1. Hari OM
      Well, yes, he is if you count his persistence and in trusting that I wasn't just imagining things (which my father was inclined to suggest!!!). However, it was in his interest as after an eighteen hundred quid investment, the car oughtta have been running way better and not worse! He is a new manager - it is the same garage Ren has been attending since purchase 10 years ago.... and begs the question why certain factors which were picked up this time were not observed at the very least in the last annual if not five years earlier!

      Anyhoo, now she is about to get another big stretch to test her out; my ol' mate "Aitch" from Suffolk has suggested a mid-week meetup next week in Carlisle. We're booked and ready to rumble!!!

  3. It's good to have a good crew on hand. I've gone to the same shop for thirty years. Now I even get the "employee discount".

  4. Let's hope this is a closed chapter on Ren's troubles. Car problems are so unsettling. Off you go on new adventures!

  5. P.S. I meant to add that I love the bridge pictures.

  6. glad the Ren is still with you... and I love your geocache adventure... the bridge is stunning and it seems like a wonderful day... I think we should go for a geocache once too... I wonder why we started ist a couple of years ago and gave it up so fast... it is a great way to spend a good time...

  7. Hello, love the images!The bridge is cool and I love the butterfly. The geocache search was fun for all including Shriek. I am happy Ren is still with and hanging in there. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

  8. Wonderful images and love the little stuffed animal ~ Yes, cars are a pain ~ ^_^


  9. Way to go pushing on in spite of a sputtering Ren. Namaste, Janice xx

  10. Gosh, what a worry. I'm so glad, I think, your problems were fixed.
    Stay safe on your trails! Looking forward to more!!! xx


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