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Monday 27.09.21: Always expect the unexpected!

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

We were all awake and up by seven thirty on this, our last day here in Brixham. We were hoping to leave around 9.30am with the aim of arriving back in Dorchester at 1pm-ish. Maice did say she’d drive me over to pick up Milly from the cattery but as I wasn’t picking her up until 5pm I very kindly refused the offer. I mean, I would hope we’d we back well before then!

We enjoyed a final breakfast of scrambled eggs….again, tidied up and then Maice and I took the first lot of luggage and bags out to the car. I say out, loosely for the car was a five minute walk away up a steep hill. Honestly, this place is just so full of hills! We packed up the car and returned to fetch Jane, Sir Winston and the rest of the bags and made our way for one last time up the hill to the car. It was at this point that I spotted Maice’s rear back tyre was flat. Now how did that happen, and how long’s it been like that?

Maice of course sprung into Manager mode and was on the phone to Greg at First Call explaining our dilemma. Three women and a Sir Winston stranded by the side of the road, on a hill, with a flat tyre and no spare in the boot! ‘Don’t worry girls, and boys…help is at hand’ said Greg. We had to call the local tyre garage, Kwik Fit to see if they could fit us in, called Greg back and with that he sent out a recovery vehicle to come and recover us and drive us over to the garage. We regrouped around the flat tyre. Would we have enough time to walk down the steep hill, have a coffee on the harbour and walk back up the steep hill before our Knight in Shining Armour arrived? We’d chance it, so off we went down to the harbour, found a coffee bar and sat out in the sunshine……waiting!

We walked slowly back up the very steep hill to the car, for what we hoped was the final time and sat and waited. It was now 11.35am so working out the timings of being recovered, a new tyre being fitted and then finally setting off on the journey home we reckoned that Maice would now in fact be able to take me to the cattery to pick up Milly!!!!

We’d just listened to the bells chiming 12noon and we were huddled in the car out of the rain, still waiting to be recovered! We used our time wisely…..we deliberated on where to go, then booked our Christmas Lunch at the Kings Arms, Dorchester, then we viewed my photos of last weekends barge trip, then we discussed the weather. So far, sat in the car we’ve experienced warm sunshine, cold sunshine, light rain, heavy rain, blue skies, cloudy skies and a moderate breeze throughout! At 12.30pm Maice rang Greg and spoke to Chris who was surprised we hadn’t been rescued by now. ‘Leave it with me’ he said……’I’ll investigate and call you back’!

At 1pm Maice called again to check on progress. Apparently, as one can imagine the ‘petrol crisis’ was impacting on the business but we were assured by Greg that we were going to be recovered within the next sixty minutes and to stay put. All of us needing the loo we extricated ourselves from our car seats and were just about to set off when Maice realised that her key fob had ceased to work. It would unlock the car but couldn’t lock it electronically. Could this day get any worse we wondered? Locking the door manually by putting the key in the lock we set off at a fast pace down the hill to the loo, then picked up some ‘food-to-go’ to eat in the car before walking very slowly back up the very steep hill, the hill we didn’t think we’d have to walk up again! I’ve no idea what the locals must be thinking….it’s now been almost three hours and we’re still sat in the car!!

At 2.30pm we called Greg again and were assured the recovery vehicle would be with us in thirty minutes…….or so! There was only one thing for it, out came the ‘big-guns’, our oversized playing cards and we played Gin Rummy, which was quite an experience in a car! We also tried calling Kwik Fit to advise them that we were still coming in but didn’t quite know when. However they weren’t picking up the phone so seems we’re in a bit of a pickle! As yet we haven’t got a plan B, C or Z as we’re confident the recovery vehicle is ‘on its way’!! So far it’s now 15.30pm and its still not here! Would we need to find a B&B for the night? That was the burning question. I was supposed to be picking Milly up at 5pm but there’d be no chance of that now so I called Alison at Purrfect Cattery to say I’d be late……a day late!

Hey, guess what? We’ve just rung Greg again and he has advised us that the recovery vehicle is somewhere in Brixham so Jane and I wandered up the road to look out for him. We stood there for at least ten minutes before Maice rang to say he’d arrived. He’d only come down the narrow street that our holiday cottage was in. How he got his truck down there we’ll never know!

It was such good news that help had finally arrived in the guise of Mike……. however, the bad news was that there was only space in the cab for two of us, which means that someone plus Sir Winston will either have to get a taxi to Kwik Fit in Paignton or travel in the back seat of the car whilst its on the loader, not that you’re really allowed to do this of course. It was a no brainer really…….Maice and Sir Winston were going in the back of the car and with that they made themselves comfortable whilst Mike drove the car up the ramp onto the back of the low-loader and Jane and I sat up front with Mike. Maice seemed to be enjoying herself on the low-loader according to her text which read……’how exciting…..I feel like the Queen’. Ha ha, such ideas of grandeur!

Thirty minutes later we arrived at Kwik-Fit where Maice had to empty out the contents of the boot to retrieve the ‘locking wheel nut kit’ and within ten minutes they’d whipped off the old tyre and repaired it rather than fit a new one. Apparently a month ago Maice had the very same tyre repaired at a local garage in Weymouth. They obviously made such a botch job of it that Kwik Fit, who couldn’t believe the shoddiness of the repair decided not to charge her for the work they did. Now that’s what you call a great service.

Just before 5pm we left Kwik-Fit, plugged in the new MapsApp guy and set off home. After a few unintended manoeuvres which involved driving down a one way street to get out of Paignton we ended up on the correct road, heading in the right direction, aiming to be home before 8pm.

Who could believe that we’d be spending our last day in Brixham sitting in a car for six hours outside somebody’s house? We saw the same kids go to school in the morning and saw them return that afternoon. What they must have thought when they saw us playing cards in the car we’ll never know. We’ve walked up and down the very steep hill more times than we wanted to…..mind you there is a silver lining to the day. Sir Winston has managed to catch up on his beauty sleep, spending most of his time in the car….asleep!

It’s certainly been an eventful day, but it’s also been a fabulous weekend spent with such great friends. We’ve laughed a lot, we’ve drunk a lot, we’ve eaten a lot, we’ve walked up and down those hills a lot……yes, we’ve certainly done a lot. Brixham is such a lovely place and we’d recommend it to anyone, however, one thing we are all unanimous about……..we don’t think we’ll be returning to Brixham any time soon.

Abigail, Maice, Angela, Jane & Sir Winston xxxx

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Sep 28, 2021

Remind me not to go on holiday with you lot xx

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