Having proved to my total satisfaction on Wednesday that taking one’s car for granted is a foolhardy conceit, my nightmare of a week continued yesterday with a weather forecast of constant rain all day … a slew of scheduled family commitments in central London … and then a need to pick up a hire car courtesy of the AA, followed by a trip back to the coast.
At least the first target – a meet with my brothers and father for an appointment in Harley Street – went off smoothly, subject to trudging through the rain to get there after braving the morning rush-hour train commute (no seats, standing room only).
From there to a funeral at 1230 hours, followed by a family lunch.
The funeral over-ran by 25 minutes, thanks to the hiring of a perfectly-excellent choir who made a right meal of every congregational hymn and aria they were billed to perform and then an excessively long main eulogy address, which meant we were 40 minutes late for our lunch (thanks in part to the rain, traffic and lack of free taxis).
Having curtailed the lunch and made a sprint back home in order to rendezvous with the man from the hire car company, it was by now 4.15pm … and of course the mass London exodus, also in the rain, had already begun.
By the time I had crawled to Hanworth in the traffic and collected my hire car … and crawled back to Putney to pick up my father … then set off for the coast in virtual gridlock … got snarled up in a traffic ‘incident’ (accident) on the A3 Guildford by-pass, it took me until 9.05pm to reach the coast and sanctuary.
The last 36 hours have been some of the most pressurised, complicated, frustrating and tiring of my life. All because my car broke down.
I need a week’s holiday in the sun to recover.