Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Exhaust Blues

There is a serious thought in this somewhat general blog moan, but I will leave that to the final sentence!
You will have to wade through another waddle through John's mundane life to get to it though!

17.00 yesterday: 
I take Albert to the vets. Vet patronises me, talks over me when I try to give him a history and states that although Albert does have a low grade pyrexia he is perfectly healthy, happy  and despite being nervous -- NERVOUS?!!!! (Albert has coped with four bottom licking dogs for the past 4 years with some good humour and confidence that would put Liza Minelli to shame!)
he didn't see anything wrong with him...
I am still not convinced, even though the little bastard did indeed look perfectly well when liberated from the cat carrier.
I will give it until Thursday, re assess Albert's lack of eating then and will change our vet practice

As I was driving to the beach to wait for Chris to arrive in Prestatyn by train. The bloody exhaust falls off the Berlingo

Covered with oil, my brother in law and I wire up the exhaust

scattering sheep in panic the berlingo ROARS back to Trelawnyd

0800 am this morning
The Berlingo ROARS out of Trelawnyd heading for QUIK FIT in Rhyl 5 miles towards the coast

The wired exhaust partly falls off as we go round Rhuddlan roundabout. Sparks on road!

Covered in dirt and oil and risking life and limb I reattach exhaust with a dog lead and a rolled up sock

Exhaust falls off again outside Dewi Sant School, Rhyl much to the hilarity of 5 scruffy children on bikes
I "fix" it again

Stopped by a police car
13 year old policeman is very polite but is not moved by a 50 year old gay scruff bag flirting with him, allows me to proceed on to garage

Arrive at Quick Fit....lots of sucking of teeth ( by foreman) Exhaust will cost 360£ but they will have it ready by 12 noon!

Walk into Rhyl. Buy Coffee. Watch awful common people wandering aimlessly around like The Walking Dead. Read Paper....

Phone call from Quickfit Part has been damaged in transit. Work will not be done until 3pm
I start crying

I walk back to Quick Fit, collect house keys. Get a 10 quid Taxi back to Trelawnyd, clean up Bulldog shit in kitchen.

And thank goodness I am not in full time employment...how do people cope with the bollocks of everyday life like this when they are?
Anyhow back to the serious part of the post....as a "county" dweller, today's fiasco has underlined to me just how reliant we are on the bloody car and to bloody fuel!
Without both, we are effective "trapped" in a location that has no shop, no food and very few services that can be accessed immediately! and with the fuel tanker drivers going on strike very soon, the sight of panic buyer queues already forming at the  Sainsbury's petrol station today is somewhat sobering to say the least....

A generation or so ago, Trelawnyd had a thriving grocery shop which sold EVERYTHING... now, we all drive the 10 mile round trip to the supermarket just in order to keep going.........what will happen to us all if, ( God Forbid) the fuel stops dead.....
answers on a postcard eh?


  1. WE'RE ALL DOOOMED!........

  2. It's the end of the world as we know it.:)

  3. Life is crap and then we die. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

  4. Flashing the lady with the horse the other day...clever move!! You'll be first in line to borrow the horse for trips to the shops.
    Jane x

  5. Anonymous1:54 pm

    They are forcing us to band together in something called a City where we will be easier targets. How about a horse and buggy?

  6. Apparently there are little more than half the fuel stations now that there were in 2000, the time of the last strike, so what queues there are will be even longer this time round.
    Did you tell Yorkshire Pud that you have been to Rhyl? ;)

  7. Internet. Make the supermarket deliver to you! That doesn't solve the taking of Albert to the vets though...

  8. keep that sense of humor! You got me guffawing on this one. Sounds like an average day around here. Now the Vet? Seems odd that he didn't take into consideration your bringing your pup to him. That alone tells them your concerned with something unusual. I'ld be wondering if he had something lodged. See another Vet...

  9. I would definitely take Albert for a second opinion. When a cat goes off his food there is something wrong. I do hope your vet did some blood work on him. Any vet that talked down to me would be off my payroll!!

    I am a firm believer of having a well stocked pantry. I live alone and could probably manage a few months on mine. A snow storm taught be a lesson a long time ago.
    Hope your day goes better today.

  10. Hey, it'll help your WeightWatchers thing!

    All the car drivers should go on strike and refuse to buy fuel. That'll teach them. I did that after the fireman's strike. I didn't burn my house down for years. That taught them a lesson they won't forget.

  11. Never fear, you have plenty of plants and animals to eat. Don't know what you'll have to do for milk, though...

  12. And people keep on dismissing the Iraq war as being 'All About Oil'. Of course it was... the western world would collapse and die without the bloody stuff.

  13. Well, you've got plenty of sausages in the larder to keep you going for a bit.

    I'd be looking for another vet, too. It's not as if you're the hysterical sort--you're a nurse for crying out loud, and a cat off its food is ALWAYS a sign that there's something amiss. I'm sorry that Albert is off his feed.:0(

    As for how does a full-time working person manage (meaning someone with a job outside the home; we all know you work many hours at home with your husbandry efforts)?

    In most jobs i've had to date, i've had to take a vacation day for such things. And believe you me, it wasn't a bloody vacation, sitting in some greasy, dimly lit shop that smelled of oil, old coffee still on the burner, and a hint of urine. Thankfully, only one place was like that when a car left me stranded, and someone must have complained, because when we went again for Himself's car, the waiting room was much tidier.


  14. That is an awful day....
    haha @ mybabyjohn/Delores
    Ya those cities are crazy!!!

  15. Well, at least there's bulldog shit.

  16. running a business would be very difficult without a car..I can't fit a quarter ton of clay on the bike!
    Horse and buggy for shopping sounds good-and use the "exhaust products" for the garden

  17. Maybe it's time to think about a donkey?

  18. No car? You should try living in Australia mate!

    I laughed out loud at your post. About the time I got to the 13 year old policeman I was nearly coughing up a lung. Now, I'm no 50 year old gay male scruff bag (close but) but I am sooo there with you sister.
    Great rant.

  19. You have a distinct talent for making the most "ordinary" day sound extraordinary, and yet, something we can all relate to in some way. Thanks for the chuckles, but by all means, get a new vet.

  20. Poor Albert. Hugs and kisses to him from across the pond.
    When we moved to AZ, though I would have preferred a house with more land, we considered our age and the already high price of fuel and choose a house within walking distance to dentist, doctor, grocery and shopping . . and then my leg gets all wonky. bloody hell.
    You know, it would be polite to find and thank your 13 yr old policeman and show him the finer points of your "car"

  21. "Walk into Rhyl. Buy Coffee. Watch awful common people wandering aimlessly around like The Walking Dead." ...I must say I think it is a bit off and rather condescending to portray the good people of Rhyl in this manner! Tut tut!
    What will you do when there's no fuel? How about weep and cry out - "I WISH I STILL LIVED IN SHEFFIELD!"

  22. "It never rains but what it pours", as they say.
    I blame the supermarkets, the government and those who like to look at stuff in John Lewis and then order it cheaper off the internet. That's what has seen off all the little shops, which is ok if you live in the middle of a town and can walk to work or the supermarket.......

  23. Anonymous5:30 pm

    okay so I PMP reading the second part ...about exhaust and the bulldog poo! and you're right what are we going to do when there's no petrol and no way to get to a store that sells FOOD!? I suppose we'll be biking or walking 10 miles a day so we can eat!

    hopefully the trip to this vet with a pea sized brain will result in Albert deciding to be well (or at least act like he is)!

  24. I shudder to think! We're 25km from the supermarket. Nearest big village with chemist, doctor and vet is 8km away.

    After reading this I'd take Albert to another vet! [Katinka & Shadow agree]

  25. Have you considered opening a grocery? Just wait for the deliveries to come to you. I'm thinking in Trelanyd you can just leave the can on the counter for people to make change while you're in the allotment. Just a thought.

  26. I dislike it when professionals won't listen, I'd find another vet for Albert.

    I've always bragged about not needing to drive in good ole Blighty, walk to the village shops, bank, butcher, baker, candlestick-maker, because that's how I remember groing up, my gran was the village bakery, my dad the village mechanic, the Co-op the village store.
    It's a scary time, one I'm not willing to face.
    There is a weekly program over here in the States called the Doomsday Preppers, plain folks who are preparing their lives for the inevitable shortcomings of NO fuel and food. They go to great lengths to stockpile, and prepare, and guard their rations with enough firearms to supply a small army.
    I'm afraid when that time comes, I'll just 'drink the lemonade'.

    Sorry you've had a frustrating day going to Rhyl, and on top of it all, your muffler trouble ....


  27. Oh yes John - all this rings true for us here too. Sometimes I think the best answer is to dig a hole and set up home in it.

    Sorry about posting all those tasty cakes yesterday - never thought about you until it was too late.

  28. Loving squeeze for Albert and matey old hug for you.

    Where I live is alright if you have a motor, otherwise it's waiting at the bus stop for the occasional bus whilst being spied on by nervous neighbours. Comes with living in an area where they think it's OK to call black people 'coloureds'.

    Back to cars. If you're without then it's down to the local shops where even bog standard loo rolls cost the planet.

    Loved your exhaust story. I've not done the sock thing but I have held wing mirrors on with gaffer tape. Talking of cars our local garage man is alright but that's because he's Christian.

    Love your blog matey.

  29. The comments are almost as funny as your post! I think your policeman's younger brother is working as the news anchor on our local evening news program...

    Keep in mind, the one good thing about being so far from town is that you can raise most of your own food. I do think that you need a dairy cow. And a gun. You'll need the guy to scare off those common city folk when then come, out of desperation, to try to steal from your gardens and your barn because they are STARVING! You see, without gas for transportation, the stores in the cities aren't going to get any deliveries and it's the CITY FOLK who will be starving...

  30. I don't envy you that situation (which is why I love living in the city without a car). But you do make even this sound fun and entertaining. How do you manage that?!? Hope Albert turns out to be alright despite the idiot vet.

  31. I, too, have tied up exhaust systems on old vehicles. The one I remember most fondly (cough) was an old Volvo that we had to use a string from a hooded sweatshirt... Lovely day that was...


  32. Don't worry, the MoD is stepping in. Prince William will be dropping food parcles from his chopper, assuming he gets back from the Falklands in time to make himself the hero of the Daily Mail. (Again)

  33. My friend, I've been there and done that, when I lived on the farm many many years ago. It is always fun on the farm when things go wrong. Love your blog and your rants, they take me back to the good old days when I was young. This is where one has to think on the fly for the best solutions and fix things on a shoe string budget. Hope you cat get better real soon, and yes change to a different Vet.

  34. Your garden and chickens will get you by.
    Depending on how long it goes, you could stockpile petrol.

    Other than that, I don't know because I am expecting a similar catastrophe to happen in in the next 8-12 months, if not sooner.

    And there are people here who would outlaw back yard gardens and chickens! >:\

  35. Horst
    "Love your blog and your rants, they take me back to the good old days when I was young."
    YOU are a sweetie... remember I am 50 this year!!!

  36. Ah yes, I've done the thing of driving to Kwikfit with the exhaust banging on the ground and sparks threatening to ignite the fuel tank.

    If the tanker drivers do actually strike, it'll be chaos once again, but I suspect the usual 11th-hour deal will be struck. Panic buying at Sainsbury's already? Good grief!

  37. Thanks for sharing your "Day in the Life".... xo

  38. well i did a new header on my blog!!! i'm well chuffed!

    but well done for being brave!

  39. Anonymous10:51 pm

    I like you John, a lot. But I am too selfish to swap my exhaust with yours. It's 24/7 and my chickens too will come home to roost.

    As to Albert. Seek out a second opinion asap. If I've told you this before stop me now:

    Nine year old Bouncer, technically a tabby though to the uninitiated eye a black cat, fell from his mighty 8.5 kg to a skeletal 3.5. Yes, it took the vet that long to realise that Bounce was suffering from skin cancer. Skin cancer? I ask you. Who'd have thought a cat sunning himself most luxuriously would develop melanoma. Well, he did. And it was too late. And the vet helped him along the way so Bounce died in my arms. And yes I did pay £85 for the pleasure and no, I didn't cry, till I was safely ensconced in the privacy of my car.

    Trouble with cats: They will suffer in silence. It's quite extraordinary.


  40. Ursula!
    I hear you
    the email to the vets stating that I am going elsewhere has already been sent!

  41. just taken my car to the garage again, have been housebound all this week, I cannot do without a car where we live.

    Gill in Canada

  42. 360£ for an exhaust? What's it made of - gold? You could buy two Berlingo's for that much.LOL!

    As far as 'isolation' question - we live in a thriving town but we do not have "regular" public transport to the city - hence my volunteer driving for the sick and elderly to meet their specialist appointments - and we always keep a well stocked pantry and freezer.

    We have alternate power source (1-9kv of solar grid panels) but only good when sunny and we have 4000 litres of stored rain water in tanks. We also maintain a natural gas and a mains electricity supply as this area is subject to severe storms and power outages.

    We run two cars - my truck and the Subaru wagon, as one is always out somewhere.

  43. Ha, ha, ha. You,ve made my day!
    No 1. New vet who listens
    No.2. bicycle with a basket !!

  44. PS. and one for Chris too so he can get home from the station on his own!

  45. I was in Boston yesterday and I'm not certain if I witnessed an ordinary day or the panic buying of fuel - there were huge queues and gunshots were involved. This may be normal for Boston, or it may be that the locals there panic early for Christmas.

  46. a friend of mine lives in a fairly remote village, where volunteers man a DIY shop in the village hall. I can see you behind the counter in an overall, dispensing wisdom like Ronnie Barker as Arkwright!

  47. You know your cat best. Your vet should respect that.

  48. Bloody hell you had to go put that thought in my head....No fuel?? Ah well it's a good thing I live within walking distance of everything ;o) Sorry

  49. Now that I'm six years from retirement, at which time I'll have to move since my current residence is a perquisite of my job, I'm giving scenarios like yours very serious consideration as I contemplate my next move, John. Your account of the day was amusing, but I'm sure you were in high dudgeon by the time the day was over.


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