Friday, October 30, 2015

A Strange Car Noise

Yesterday, driving back from Swindon, I heard a strange noise from under the bonnet. I found myself saying aloud, "Something's wrong with this car."

Strange how you can say something completely spontaneously, with no reflection, and realise you've expressed a visceral truth.

This morning I had rationalistic doubts: do I really know what a car engine is meant to sound like? At the garage, I admired the wet and dripping scenery outside while the mechanic disassembled the plastic overlay and the pulley cables.
"Do you live local?" he asked.

"Yes, about a mile away," I replied.
He smiled grimly,
"This car is off the road, it can't be driven."
He drew my attention to the six inch diameter water pump attached to the left end of the engine block. I use the word 'attached' advisedly, as it was desperately wobbling under his hand.
"Bearings are gone."
The guys did a good job. For £150 it's been fixed this afternoon and I've just collected it. The car, a Toyota Auris, is eight years old and I don't know whether this is normal wear-and-tear, whether we got a 'Friday car' or whether this is a symptom of Toyota's notorious lapse in quality a few years back.


In moments of self-indulgent fantasy, I sometimes imagine a time of solitude where I could create A Major Piece of Work. A villa in Tuscany is a familiar cliché; I'm told monasteries also offer facilities for the Intense Writing Experience.

Now, courtesy Marginal Revolution, I have a new option - cruising on a cargo ship.

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