Saturday, 19 January 2013


Friday night saw me stop off at the service station to fill up my little car on my way home. Standard stuff! Alas, as I stood there in darkness with it snowing moderately and my hands shaking with the cold my key wouldn't unlock the petrol tank. The key wouldn't go in. I tried and tried again but only the tip would go in. Oh oh! The tank was nearly empty. I sprayed some anti-ice into the lock but nothing improved. Unsettled, I had to get back in my car and drive off. I was supposed to visit Jean-Claude but I didn't think I had enough petrol to go there yet alone there and back.

The roads were getting rather fluffy and the flocons (snowflakes were just a bit more insistent) by the time I got home. Thank goodness for an underground park. I tried again to unlock the petrol cap but it wasn't going to budge. There's nothing like the Automobile Association in France. I feel very vulnerable to anything going wrong on the road. There's little a small woman like myself can do to help herself- I'd be dependent on a motorist stopping to help me.

I dialled an auto knight instead, aka, Jean-Claude, and explained the situation. He said he'd get his tools and drive gingerly over- it would take a while so I had enough time for a hot shower. He duly arrived and we hovered around my car. After an hour out of the elements the keyhole decided to unstick. Yay, so JC showed me what to do if/when it happens again. He gave me a cigarette lighter and told me to light it and heat my car key up, wipe the soot off and insert it into the keyhole. It would probably work.

Naturally I didn't have a cigarette lighter so he gave me an old one which he advised I keep in my handbag, not the car. In the car it would simply freeze and not light when I needed it. Sage advice. We grabbed my overnight bag and drove very slowly all the way to his village.

The next morning all was brown and white and green. I had the pleasure of munching my breakfast in bed while watching the heavily laden branches tip their white passengers on the ground. Some of the snowflakes were carried away by the breeze. So beautiful. So Cold.

A little robin redbreast hopped outside the window in search of something to eat. We could see where birds had left tracks in the snow against the French doors in their quest to find some warmth oozing from the house so we decided to make some breadcrumbs and scatter them on the snow. I hope the little robin finds them.


Defogger said...

A very enjoyable read. Lovely photos and a situation outside my experience... Always interesting to learn what snags might arise and need addressing.

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