People

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The door stands in the way. But I can hear people outside, running along the pavement, downhill, then up. A couple of car doors slam. An engine starts, quietly. I want to look out, but the door is firmly locked. It’s late. I could look out of the window, but that means parting the curtains, giving the game away.

A little later…. All is calm again, the mad thunder of feet has receded, I heard my bin lid thud down, but I’m not going to look. Possibly an old beer can? It’s happened before.

I don’t really like living with my front door on the pavement. I wish we had a front garden. There is a garden at the side of our house,iit’s ours, full of trees and bushes. Local people dump beer cans and fag packets in our hedge. Life, and people, have been quieter lately. But if I was put on a desert island I would be OK.

I spoke too soon, cars (with people in) crashing down  their gears, rushing to get up the hill. Sometimes they seem to race each other.

If, and when the lockdown ends, I will have to get used to people again.

Car being fixed

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My car is having some welding done after someone about six weeks ago. There us now a rusty hole in the wing. I’m not happy, but the person drove off and didn’t leave a note to say that they had hit me! It’s not worth claiming off the insurance as I wouldn’t be surprised if they said its not worth repairing! It’s an old car, but it runs well. The emissions are good, and think of the resources it would take to make a new one? Then in a few years time all cars in the UK will have to be electric. Which is difficult if you live in a terraced house with no driveway. How will they retrofit charging points? Maybe they should use all the plastic in the oceans to make the body panels or the interior lastic fittings? Recycle and reuse should be our constant motto.

In the meantime I will keep running my old car….

One of those days.

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Grey and depressing, icy cold, big droplets of rain. Disappointing as well, I keep trying to get the car mended (someone broke my wing mirror, the glass is cracked, and someone must have reversed into my nearside wing, it’s all scraped and dented. But I rang up, and the mechanic, who is trying to find the right mirror rang in sick this morning. I will have to try again tomorrow. Then I collected some paintings from my studio to try and get into a local craft centre. But the owner has been inundated with local artists. He is interested in more work but needs to sell some art first. He has had people in but one comment he got was “is it really That much?” for one if the pieces in there. It’s the usual thing in this area, people don’t have money, or if they do they don’t want to spend it. It’s depressing (oh I’ve already said that)……

Waiting for the mechanic

Our car needs the rocker head gasket replacing because its starting to weep. That means oil is starting to seep out of the top of the engine. It’s not serious but it needs fixing. The rocker head gasket is right at the top of the engine and sits above the spark plugs. Its where the top is bolted on to the body of the engine block. Not to be confused with the head gasket which is a bit further down.

Apparently its quite a simple job, and as long as the oil is only seeping out slowly its not too bad, but on the other hand it does need fixing.

When I rang up the garage I go to they said bring the cat in this afternoon. So we went down and waited, but no one is there. Its a bit worrying because our mechanic has not been well and he is a friend, so that’s even more worrying. I tried ringing but there was no answer. I guess all I can do is try again tomorrow.

Random tree

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Photo taken last Thursday in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Spreading sideways, this tree seems to have had a haircut leaving all the horizontal branches but nothing hanging down. Also it’s still got a lot of leaves where the trees next to it are just about bare. It’s random because it’s just a street tree, the fence and road and car don’t really enhance the picture. It is all about horizontals I guess.

Last year

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Or was it the year before? We went to see a play at Spode, another by Debbie McAndrew, probably Hot Lane. There was a car from the 1950’s as part of the set up. It was parked in the pathway between some of the buildings at the Spode Site. I took a picture of it and decided to make it look more authentic by turning it into a black and white photo.

I like monochrome pictures, they can be more atmospheric. I hope you like it.

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When I start I can’t stop….

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Another start, luckily I don’t need a starter handle to get going. Something switches on in my head and I suddenly can’t stop. It’s weird, my mind must be wired up in a strange way.

Today I have started painting a lion, a car, ivy, a planet, a latch for a gate. All very random, but a challenge to myself. I have a little cartoon at my studio which says I will paint anything, and I think that’s true. I might not be able to get things exactly right but I do try.

I’m thinking about what to write or paint here. I will try and do a few more spooky stories when I’ve finished this lot of art work.

Toot toot, off I go!

A strange call

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Someone just phoned. I never answer unknown numbers, but then a text message came through saying I had hit someone’s wing mirror when I was driving and that I had then stopped and left my number on a note on the persons car. He said his car was not damaged and I could forget trying to claim for my wing mirror off him?

I texted back saying I did not know anything about it, and that I would ring the police.

The caller responded by admitting that the number he had contained 12 digits, one of which was blurry but he had tried my number anyway.

The whole thing is very strange. My wing mirror was damaged last week while my car was parked up. It was parked with the drivers side wing mirror against the pavement. I have not hit anyone and certainly if I had I would have stopped and sorted it out. I have never left a note on a car as I have never needed to.

What bothers me is it seems strange that a wing mirror is involved. It sounds like a scam. I’m considering blocking the number. I will keep the texts and report it to the police if there is any other strange communications.

Any thoughts?

 

Somedays life catches up with you.

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Imagine, you have been ill for days, you feel awful, you’ve got a meeting to sort out an exhibition…..

Open your front door to go to your car and see a sticky, stripy envelope stuck to your windscreen…

Shock? Horror? What’s this?

My residents parking pass expired last week and I hadn’t realised. What to do? Can’t park there without a valid pass. So took myself up the office in a panic and full of cold and coughs.

Right. I could challenge it, fill a form in. I explained I had not had a renewal letter. The young man behind the desk said there had been a computer error?! Letters were not sent. I should have looked at my windscreen.

(DO YOU LOOK AT YOUR WINDSCREEN EVERY TIME YOU GET IN YOUR CAR?)

Plus I have been really ill so I hadn’t thought about it….

We will see what happens…..

Think

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Don’t think, act…. is that a good idea? Sometimes a moment’s thought can help get you out of a situation that you might have a problem with if you acted immediately, but on other occasions you just have to act. Maybe you should not spend time debating with yourself when you need to make a split second decision, but on the other hand, it just might help.

I remember driving down the motorway to Devon a few years ago. I didn’t have time to think when I saw debris in the road, I had to swerve round it as quickly as I could. If I hadn’t reacted I don’t know what would have happened to us. It was only as I was looking back, that I saw smoke rising from a car in the ditch next to the motorway in my rear view mirror.

Another time I had to fix my car starter motor. I could have rung a repair service and paid for it to be fixed, but I remembered it was sticking at top dead center. I had just come from a job interview and was wearing a blouse and suit. I opened the bonnet and tapped the starter motor with a spanner out of the boot. I tried the engine and it started! If I hadn’t got it working I could have got it repaired, but I didn’t have much money. The man sitting in the car behind me looked surprised. I got the job, and I was pleased that a moment of thought had solved the car problem.