It feels like a chapter is coming to a close at last, and I hadn’t realised I’d been in it until I got to see the blank space at the end of the page and realised the facing page had a big number on it.
Back at the end of August the car I was driving was struck by an out of control driver and my car was totalled – smashed off the road into a steel barrier that caved in the passenger side of the car and with the other car stuck into my driver’s door.
Since then I’ve been having a course of physiotherapy and waiting for the insurance and a car dealership to sort out a replacement vehicle.
The physiotherapy was useful. I hadn’t been badly injured but there was a lot of soft tissue damage in my neck, shoulder and lower back. I was always amused when I visited the therapist with an optimistic “much better, thanks” at the start of the session until he took me through some range-of-movement exercises and then it dawned on me anew just how limited that had become and how much I had compensated for it in everyday life by not pushing past the stiffness and the pain. After each session with Gregor Clegane I felt a lot better. That course has now finished and I’ve been discharged.
The insurers paid out relatively quickly for the wreck of my old car. The other driver admitted liability of course which speeded things up. I arranged the lease of a new car, following the encouragement of a couple of colleagues who do the same thing. All the paperwork was signed and it was due to be delivered on 31st October. All giddy in a way I never thought I would be about a car (but this was to be a NEW car, the first one I would ever own that hadn’t previously been pulled out of a museum) I got a phone call at work
“Just checking you’re in Mr Cullen, I’m fifteen minutes away.”
Oh I was in, I assured the driver. And I waited.
(and waited, etc)
Forty minutes later, assuming the delivery driver had got lost or distracted by the roaming bands of erotic dancers that populate West Leeds I called him back.
“Ah,” he said, “Actually…” And it turned out that just after he’d ended the call to me a red oil warning light had come on. Assuming it would be a quick fix he’d pulled into the dealership nearest to me for them to sort out.
It should have been a quick fix. But due to a bizarre combination of circumstances the part they needed – a sensor in the oil delivery system- was not in stock. I called every few days while grumbling at the poxy Renault courtesy car the dealership had given me.
It took almost a month for this simple Ford component to come into stock at a major Ford dealership. Finally though all was done and the car was delivered last week. I’m currently driving it like a nervous 90 year old maiden-aunt hyperaware of any potential narrowing of the thoroughfare and other cars. But it’s here.
And it finally dawned on me just how relieved I felt when it arrived – not for the sake of having a new car – but because it finally meant that the chapter Finn Has A Smashing Time had come to an end and I hadn’t even realised I’d been still in it. The next chapter title, as I glance across to the facing page, is still indistinct and unreadable – my eyes must be blurry from lack of sleep – but I hope you will join me in reading it as we go on.