Routine Maintenance

On Friday morning the lady who helps me in the house arrived saying ‘before I forget I think your back tyre looks a bit soft, you know like it needs air. I only noticed because the same thing happened to me this week so I thought I’d better mention it.’ ‘Thanks I’ll pop into BETS (Brakes, Exhausts, Tyres, Shock Absorbers) whilst I’m out, the guys are always really helpful’ I reply and then return to what I was doing. I was on my way into town to return something to John Lewis – (no I’m not turning into my mother, this is, as a matter of fact, the first time I’ve ever done this) – plus I have another couple of errands to attend to whilst I’m there. I seldom go into ‘town’ these days, it seems such an effort and everything requires a sizeable walk it seems. St Davids 2 reminds me of Schiphol Airport where the signs tell you how many minutes walk to the Gates; the concessions in both are remarkably similar too!

 Embarrassed I realise when opening my wallet that I forgot to go to the cash point yesterday and apologising my parting shot as I go out of the front door is ‘I’ll have to owe you £2.50 is that alright?’ To which she laughs and says ‘don’t leave the country!’ After 8 plus years we have a comfortable semi professional relationship where I she puts up with my shortcomings and I ignore the cobwebs in the bathroom!

 Returning from shopping with a full boot of shopping from Morrisons I am exhausted and retail weary. Since leaving home I have also ventured into Cardiff something I endeavour to do as infrequently as possible; for fear of risking sounding like my late grandmother it’s just so big and so busy! As I get out of the car I look at the rear tyre and it softly moulds into the curb that I have managed to mount. Hmm not good; bugger; am taking heavily pregnant friend to see Chekov this evening so best get back into the car and go to BETS (as I had planned). It was the thought of incompetently delivering a baby on the roadside that motivated me; in light of the Public Ombudsman’s judgement on the ‘reliability’ of the Welsh Ambulance Service I’m glad I made the effort!

Lovely stocky man at BETS is rapidly becoming my best friend frequently replacing lightbulbs immediately with no charge. Excellent customer service me thinks but then it’s rather too obvious why this tactic makes business sense. He takes the keys and wanders round the car before returning to the office where I am playing with Twitter. ‘The back tyre is flat and the others don’t look too clever’ he reports. Has he previously fitted stupid tyres I wonder? ‘Where is the wheel nut?’ he enquired. I blanche and say ‘in the boot, under the shopping, sorry it’s really full’. I am mortified and ponder momentarily on the contents i.e. the conclusions that could be drawn from the random items. Hey do I care? No but I do hope he doesn’t nick the Viennese Truffles from Thorntons open on the passenger seat; shopping is stressful ladies!

Ten minutes later tanned stocky man comes up to the counter somehow you just know he’s about to attempt not to say ‘is there a reason you left it so long before coming in?’ Instead he asks if I’m doing a lot of mileage to which I ask it depends what you mean by a lot. Then the full verdict is poured out. Not only is the rear tyre flat it has both a nail in it and a hole in the side! And two other tyres need replacing to boot. And the fourth? Signing I just tell him to replace all four. I leave circa £450 poorer but feeling smugly safe. The thing with modern cars is they are too darn clever with the in-built compensatory mechanism; the tyre pressure differences are rebalanced by the sophisticated suspension to the extent I could drive a car with a flat tyre and not notice!

 

Next day another bloody light bulb blows – today (only a gap of three days) I pull into the BETS car park; well to be accurate I stop outside the office door as I have gelatinous legs today. Stocky man looking tanned and strangely attractive sees me, smiling he comes up to the window as if to say you again? Hmm I could be persuaded to add you to my mental gallery for those fantasy moments alone with my thoughts… Getting a grip I wind the window down and explain a lightbulb has blown. Of course I don’t know which one so we go through an elaborate series of turning switches and twiddling controls whilst he bobs up and down and around and around before diagnosing the problem.

 

And do you know I didn’t have to get out of the car at all! When he’d finished I asked how much and bless him he just smiled and said ‘see you again’(even sounding like he meant it!). So ladies please check your tyres regularly to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation; but if you do I recommend BETS in Barry! Such a gentleman he managed to maintain eye contact with a buxom blonde in a short dress and stilettos who had come for an MOT; even I did a double take as she batted her eyelashes rather too obviously…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday morning the lady who helps me in the house arrived saying ‘before I forget I think your back tyre looks a bit soft, you know like it needs air. I only noticed because the same thing happened to me this week so I thought I’d better mention it.’ ‘Thanks I’ll pop into BETS (Brakes, Exhausts, Tyres, Shock Absorbers) whilst I’m out, the guys are always really helpful’ I reply and then return to what I was doing. I was on my way into town to return something to John Lewis – (no I’m not turning into my mother, this is, as a matter of fact, the first time I’ve ever done this) – plus I have another couple of errands to attend to whilst I’m there. I seldom go into ‘town’ these days, it seems such an effort and everything requires a sizeable walk it seems. St Davids 2 reminds me of Schiphol Airport where the signs tell you how many minutes walk to the Gates; the concessions in both are remarkably similar too!

 

Embarrassed I realise when opening my wallet that I forgot to go to the cash point yesterday and apologising my parting shot as I go out of the front door is ‘I’ll have to owe you £2.50 is that alright?’ To which she laughs and says ‘don’t leave the country!’ After 8 plus years we have a comfortable semi professional relationship where I she puts up with my shortcomings and I ignore the cobwebs in the bathroom!

 

Returning from shopping with a full boot of shopping from Morrisons I am exhausted and retail weary. Since leaving home I have also ventured into Cardiff something I endeavour to do as infrequently as possible; for fear of risking sounding like my late grandmother it’s just so big and so busy! As I get out of the car I look at the rear tyre and it softly moulds into the curb that I have managed to mount. Hmm not good; bugger; am taking heavily pregnant friend to see Chekov this evening so best get back into the car and go to BETS (as I had planned). It was the thought of incompetently delivering a baby on the roadside that motivated me; in light of the Public Ombudsman’s judgement on the ‘reliability’ of the Welsh Ambulance Service I’m glad I made the effort!

 

Lovely stocky man at BETS is rapidly becoming my best friend frequently replacing lightbulbs immediately with no charge. Excellent customer service me thinks but then its rather too obvious why this tactic makes business sense. He takes the keys and wanders round the car before returning to the office where I am playing with Twitter. ‘The back tyre is flat and the others don’t look too clever’ he reports. Has he previously fitted stupid tyres I wonder? ‘Where is the wheel nut?’ he enquires. I blanche and say ‘in the boot, under the shopping, sorry it’s really full’. I am mortified and ponder momentarily on the contents i.e. the conclusions that could be drawn from the random items. Hey do I care? No but I do hope he doesn’t nick the Viennese Truffles from Thorntons open on the passenger seat; shopping is stressful ladies!

 

Ten minutes later tanned stocky man comes up to the counter somehow you just know he’s about to attempt not to say ‘is there a reason you left it so long before coming in?’ Instead he asks if I’m doing a lot of mileage to which I ask it depends what you mean by a lot. Then the full verdict is poured out. Not only is the rear tyre flat it has both a nail in it and a hole in the side! And two other tyres need replacing to boot. And the fourth? Signing I just tell him to replace all four. I leave circa £450 poorer but feeling smugly safe. The thing with modern cars is they are too darn clever with the in-built compensatory mechanism; the tyre pressure differences are rebalanced by the sophisticated suspension to the extent I could drive a car with a flat tyre and not notice!

 

Next day another bloody light bulb blows – today (only a gap of three days) I pull into the BETS car park; well to be accurate I stop outside the office door as I have gelatinous legs today. Stocky man looking tanned and strangely attractive sees me, smiling he comes up to the window as if to say you again? Hmm I could be persuaded to add you to my mental gallery for those fantasy moments alone with my thoughts… Getting a grip I wind the window down and explain a lightbulb has blown. Of course I don’t know which one so we go through an elaborate series of turning switches and twiddling controls whilst he bobs up and down and around and around before diagnosing the problem.

 

And do you know I didn’t have to get out of the car at all! When he’d finished I asked how much and bless him he just smiled and said ‘see you again’(even sounding like he meant it!). So ladies please check your tyres regularly to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation; but if you do I recommend BETS in Barry! Such a gentleman he managed to maintain eye contact with a buxom blonde in a short dress and stilettos who had come for an MOT; even I did a double take as she batted her eyelashes rather too obviously…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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