The car exhaust started making a wheezy noise the other day. A few miles later (I’ve been bimbling around Bristol getting stuff for picture framing) it started sounding a bit like a doodlebug. You can hear what a doodlebug sounds like if you go here, by the way. You can’t just assume that people know what you’re talking about, when you’re the wrong side of fifty – I told Katie she looked a bit like a Gonk yesterday, what with the evolving hairstyle which I think is a nod in the direction of goth/emo.
“What’s a Gonk?” she asked.
Probably a good job she didn’t know, or there might have been trouble.
Anyway, the exhaust had completely broken off from the back of the silencer. So I tied it back on, as you can see above. When I emerged from under the car I met my neighbour, who is famous for being stuck upside down, once. He’d just got his driving licence back, and was very chirpy. He enumerated the various ways that the world is going to hell in a handcart, while I tried to remain cheerful. The recycling lorry appeared around the corner, and proceeded along the road in fits and starts, as the collectors leaped out and emptied the black bins into the back of the lorry. They missed my bin.
“They’ve missed my bin,” I finally managed to say, just before they disappeared round the corner.
We walked towards them, calling. I carried my box of bottles and tins. The waste collector man was very large and slightly tetchy. “You should put things out by 8 o’clock”, he said.
“It was out,” I said in a mildly outraged tone. It was evident that he didn’t believe me. With a palpable air of ‘pull the other one, it’s got knobs on’, he accepted the black box and chucked the stuff into the lorry. I replaced the box on the garden wall and went on my way, feeling wronged and somehow slighted.
Off I went to the Morris Minor Centre to get a shiny new stainless exhaust system. When I got home, I saw that the nylon cord that I’d used had melted cleanly apart, probably a few minutes after I’d started the engine. Hey ho.
In other ‘things fall apart’ news, my Microsoft Outlook inbox refused to open, a few days ago. I’ve finally managed to repair it by following useful online advice, and it was a big relief to see all the messages from the last three years back on my computer screen again. I celebrated by going through them and deleting ones I don’t have any more use for, like the huge pile of correspondence between me and P&O’s hired lawyer. Sometimes it’s good to move on.
There’s also the mails from a good friend who died. It would have been a shame to have lost them.
I started thinking about the friends I have and don’t see much these days. It’s tricky, when you’re not living in the same place; to see each other, it means taking time out from what you’re doing, which can be nice, but I started thinking about how friendships come about, and decided that friendship is what happens when you’re busy doing something else.
Which can be my thought for the day.