Well, this is a little embarrassing…

Dumball One writes to you from the back (and front) of another car – Junglism to be precise.

It’s appears that on our tight schedule today, one thing was not tight: our fan belt. A comedy of errors led us to this situation.

Never particularly good at following our own advice, dumball one didn’t get the dog properly serviced this year. Let this be a lesson to all – a simple service will fix the majority of first day break down blues. We had her booked in to one, with our friendly trusted Hackney mechanic. But on the day the service came around, the dog wouldn’t start – a simple flat battery. But of course, that day was on a tight schedule (funeral to go to in fact) and the service was missed. Next day, the tax ran out, the dog was SORNed, and the priorities of organising the rest of the dumball, and living a normal life, took over.

So we knew we had a battery problem. But it charged ok- it just went flat over time. But it might have suffered a little abuse on the past, at the hands of loose fan belt, and a poorly driven alternator.

So dumball time swings around, and the dog is taxed and insured just in time for the dumball. And for the first couple of days, she runs sweet as nut.

But this afternoon, she did start rattling a little. Slightly tractoresque note to the engine.

Five minutes at lunch might have been enough to tighten her up. Or we may have found the belt already too far featured to repair. But ten minutes after setting off, we had a bit of a bang, a little of smoke and an urgent battery light. It was obvious under the bonnet what had happened and here’s the kicker: on any other day, at any other time, it would have been a quick, easy and cheap fix.

But today, we just don’t have time. And Italy on a Sunday just didn’t care enough to offer up a solitary fan belt within 10 miles of where we were. We got her towed, to the services, but couldn’t do that for 200 miles.

We tried tights! But they did nothing. So with time marching on, we had to make the decision to ditch and move on.

It’s a sad, heart-wrenching manoeuvre, and not one which dumball one has personally has to do before. Which may explain the length and detail of this post. But there you go. Now we have.

It’s not about being there, it’s about getting there. In someone else’s car.

RIP dumball one.

Albania beckons!

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