At present, I am almost totally off! Everything that shouldn’t happen, happened, and almost simultaneous.
On top of that, I haven’t been writing for ages – as it feels – and CampWriMo is just around the corner. Three days to go, including today. I began writing another blog post four or five days ago, and it was hard. Didn’t post it.
Oh, my Goddess! How will this end!!!
Wednesday last week!
It’s early evening and I’m about to drive Daughter M to a friend of hers circa 25 kilometres away. They and one daughter each are flying to Crete early the next morning and stay for a week. M’s daughter is already there, so in the car now is us two, her eldest son that only will have a lift to someplace, and two big trunks. Circa 14 kilos each. She said…
The car is a Yaris. A 12-year-old Yaris. And then I’m supposed to go visit my youngest daughter over the weekend. Midsummer and all.
A fierce sound fills the air when I, as the last person, sit down in the car and the daughter starts the engine to drive. Of course, the total load is too heavy and presses down on brakes or something. Nevertheless, M almost freaks out. “It sounds like the car is gonna get cut in halves!”
The son steps out, and his brother who now is available gives him a lift in the other car. We drive away, and on my way back home later, everything seems to be functioning well. A little bit rough to start only, nothing more.
Same Wednesday, 11:30 PM.
I have just fallen asleep when the phone rings. It’s M.
A neighbour has called her and says the backlights on the car are on.
“Go fix it!” she says to me. With not so few words…
So I bike those four kilometres in the middle of the night. Lucky though, I had decided to park the car at its home, and not here where I live. If so, no one would have cared, nor even know to whom that car belongs. And I wouldn’t want to go out there in the morning to find the car with an empty battery.
But I couldn’t turn off those lights! I mean… the engine wasn’t running. Of course, it wasn’t. Who in her or his right mind would leave a car engine running during the night? But nothing I did, nothing I tried to do, could turn off the red backlights.
At midnight, almost on the dot, the two sons come home. And never, ever tell their mother that the eldest wasn’t fast asleep in his bed! I had been forbidden to make any noises that would wake him since he was due to work early the next morning.
Mothers and sons! I really enjoyed that part.
After several tryouts, the guys stop trying to turn the lamps off. It seems impossible. – Quite fun though, odd-fun. For example. The lights were turned off, then when closing the door, the lights began to shine again. Or – started to shine again when the one who had tried this time, took the key out of the lock. And some other silly, silly behaviour.
So they decide not to care any more. Instead, drive the car a bit further in, so that the neighbours won’t be bothered as much by the red lights. I start the car, it’s not particularly willing to start and spits out a nasty smell of petrol. But, it starts, and I drive forward like a meter or so. I turn the key, the engine goes nighty nighty – and the red lamps turn off themselves. As they are supposed to do.
What shall we do tomorrow? The car needs the mechanic! The eldest shrugs his shoulders and says he will call his boss and I will take the car to the Mec.
And so we do!
After a quick but still a quite thorough examination, the Mec says he can’t find anything wrong but gives me advice what to do if the light won’t turn off again. I should disconnect the wire from the battery for a while. That will break the electric stream. He also gives a small wrench to loosen the nut with.
So I drive home, do some must-dos, take my baggage and then leave for my youngest daughter. I’ve really been looking forward to this and can’t get away fast enough. She lives 140 kilometres south-east from me, not far from the east coast of southern Sweden. The most beautiful part of this country? Hard to say. There are many beautiful areas in Sweden. But I think so.
I’ve been driving ca 120 kilometres, when I suddenly notice a red icon on the display. The Cooler. Sighing deeply… Why, why, why is this happening?
I call the Mec and get instructions. He had checked also this the same morning, it had seemed to be enough water and so it seems now! At least in the plastic refill-container. But obviously, it isn’t. Or?
I had stopped at a bus stop and couldn’t stay there too long. Couldn’t let the engine cool down long enough. When I fill the system with more water, it’s impossible to put in more than just a minor amount. I decide to drive on and see what will happen. Can this amount of water be enough after all?
I keep an eye on the display, and of course, it starts to blink red after a while. Find a place where I can stop some 10 kilometres ahead from the first stop. Let the engine cool down for a bit longer now. It still looks like there is enough liquid in the plastic container. So it must be enough liquid also in the actual system. Mustn’t it?
The metallic cap is hard to open, but as soon as I have opened it slightly, steam flushes out. Not particularly much, but… yeah… steam. Straight up!
There is no possibility to wait until the engine is totally cold, and I haven’t much water available either. But when the engine is cool enough to be touched with my bare hands, I manage to add some water into the container. About 1,5 litre. And that much had not flushed out as steam. I’m sure! (I think…)
I drive the last 10 kilometres to my goal, to my family, and at least the red warning key on the display does not show now.
Friday is Midsummer Eve.
It’s sunny but quite cold and very windy. Nevertheless, we intend to have lunch outside, at the patio.
After lunch, I go back into the house. Something is irritating my face over the left eye. “Oh, this blasted hair,” I think and try to wipe it away.
It’s impossible! It isn’t hair, or some insect or something outside the body at all! It’s in the eye!
“It’s the eye-shadow,” I think. I had forgotten about the eye-shadow I borrowed from my daughter and then accidentally I must have rubbed some of it into my eye. I do that sometimes since I don’t regularly use eye make-up any longer. Well, even when I did use it daily, I also then often forgot and rubbed it into the eyes…
But! This one also contained tiny pieces of metal to make the colour glitter…
If I only had known in beforehand…
Okay! It might have been some shadow in the wrong place as well, but the main issue is a flash of lightning in the left corner and lots of tiny black dots all over, and a bigger floating thing that looked like a dead, flattened mosquito.
I didn’t know much about this phenomenon, but I knew enough to realize this needed a doctor. Severe cases might lead to the loss of the retina. Today I know this phenomenon is called “Posterior vitreous detachment”.
Of course, I get scared! I google for acute medical care, but at that place, at that time, it seems almost impossible to find one. And since I’m not in pain and the symptoms ware off a bit quite soon, I tried to stay calm about it.
Saturday after breakfast
I decide to go home. I need to get medical care, though I don’t really want to leave. But then the car decides for me.
It refuses to start!!!
Not much to do, huh!
Can’t kill the battery with too many attempts, huh!
The car mechanic in this small place doesn’t open until Monday, huh!!!!
But since I can’t do otherwise, I have to endure Saturday and Sunday.
Oh, it could have been much worse. I have my family, I am at a wonderful place, it’s sunny and I’m not sick! No fever or anything. I feel normal, just a bit awkward in my left eye. I wear sunglasses and sunhat outdoors and take it easy.
I read the manual to the car, try to find out if my daughter – the other one, the car-owner – has some kind of insurance on the car that might get us home. Nope!
But I have a great time, spending some extra days there. Walking and eating ice cream in a summery Simrishamn, for example.
Monday comes and this daughter calls the local Car Mechanic. The car is fetched an hour later, and then… just waiting again.
(Taking a walk… biking to the nearby village to shop some necessities at Ica. Glutenfree bread and such… strolling in the garden… helping with the weed in the garden… a bit… washing the window in the Kiddos room… ah… you know. Family stuff.
Tuesday! The car is ready to collect, and soon after I am on my way home. I try to avoid the biggest roads. Highway E65 for example. What if the cooler runs out of water again after all?
These mechanics had made a really thorough examination of the entire engine and switched the old spark plugs into new ones. But they couldn’t find anything else that seemed to be wrong! But as precautions, I gathered as many plastic bottles I could, filled them with water, and brought them with me.
I didn’t manage to avoid all bigger roads, though. Suddenly I found myself heading Lund, but found no suitable roads that would take me away from that city. After all, I didn’t want to go eastwards again.
The City of Lund has grown immensely since I studied at the University ages ago. At that time I could find both the way in and the way out. And now I was looking for the “out-way”.
Forget it! That road apparently doesn’t exist any more. I cursed myself for not having studied the map more thoroughly before I left. And don’t talk GPS with me! Though, I admit! This time I was almost sorry I don’t have one of those devices. And I don’t understand the one that iPhone has. Have tried. Have failed in learning. Rely on maps and my own mind.
What happens at that “North ring surrounding connecting whatever spiders net I don’t know”?
Yeah. Exactly what wasn’t supposed to happen, what shouldn’t happen and wasn’t allowed to happen. At least not here. And not now. Among loads of cars and roads leading to highways.
The little red lamp on the display starts to blink. Bling Bling! Bling Bling!
As most roads connected to Highways and other larger roads, this one has an extra lane to the right, situated there for circumstances like this.
I pull over, stop, open the bonnet, and call the Mek. To tell what happened, and to get advice. Then there was only one thing to do: Wait!
Wait as long as possible for the engine to cool down.
The sun is shining
The air is really warm.
Sunglasses and sunhat are on.
The green stuff behind me is so tightened with bushes and trees that only some kind of catastrophe can make me go in there.
A bit further ahead on the road there is some work in progress, and cars are lining up more and more. ONE asks me if I’ve got some help.
“Yes, thank you, I have talked to the Mec and I just have to wait now until the engine has cooled down and then pour in water.”
I lay my hands on the engine.
I lay my hands on the engine.
When it feels lukewarm I open the metallic lid as well as the one to the plastic container. How much water does it need?
Fill it up.
Fill it up.
Both of them to the top…
I do. And a short while later I can start the engine again and head for Highway E6. Who cares about small roads now. I want to get home!
50 kilometres later it happens again.
At least pretty close to my home, and I’ve managed to reach a smaller road.
I’ve become quite zen-minded now.
Eat a banana
Check with the Mec.
Go straight there…
But I do stop at home first, to get rid of the baggage. After all, I have a bike to take after leaving the car at the Mec.
And I was soooo thirsty when I finally got home, late in the afternoon. Despite the fact I had been drinking along the way. And I was so tired, I just had a sandwich after the water, and then landed on the sofa. Fell asleep
Well. The next morning I went to the doctor, and – it is as it is!