Last week, my lovely Audi went into the garage after we suspected a petrol leak. Got it up on the ramp, and yes. So from last Friday, my car was in the shop. (The top picture was a "before..")
Last night - the car wasnt ready yet, so this morning I took the bike 90 miles or so to Edinburgh Airport. Lovely, aside from the 3am start. In London by 8:30am with a classic case of "helmet hair" - looking bad. However, really good meeting with potential business partner. Then a board meeting with the other directors of HADSL. I then frogmarched them to Foyles to purchase two copies of the excellent "Beermat Entrepeneur".
Whilst saying goodbye outside Foyles (a lovely bookshop near Oxford circus, a middle aged stout man came up to us and basically slagged off Labour, stating that we'd all be muslim in ten years time. (Today is of course Election day in the UK. I voted by post earlier this week). A classic old english nutter, with incredibly racist comments. Bear in mind that all three of us were dressed in our "IBM Consulting Hunting Black" suits and ties, and looked like a collection of mannequins displaying undertaker garb. Amazing.
After that, across London to do a "How to sell Domino" to a tier-one business partners' IBM sales team. Good fun.
Then, the call.
The garage was returning the car - and had it up my driveway - when apparently (I'm getting the story second hand here), smoke started coming from the dashboard. The garage man got the car down the drive, away from other cars and houses (which was incredibly good of him), and then had to abandon it, as flames were spouting out of it.
My daughter was up in her room studying for exams, and lots of smoke drifted up to the house. She called the fire-engine and an ambulance - they appeared very quickly by all accounts. As usual - the fire service have done a sterling job and deserve our thanks and respect.
Thankfully no-one was hurt. But my lovely old Audi 2.6 v6 is now a burnt out shell. Its a real blow, as I loved that car. It was soooo nice for the long early morning airport runs that I have to do. Sure, she was getting on a bit, but nothing deserves that.
I'm typing this in whilst at the airport, waiting for my flight home. Edinburgh at 10pm, and then a 90 minute run up the road in the dark. I'm very tired, a bit pissed off and not looking forward to seeing my poor car as a blackened wreck tomorrow, and the inevitable hassle with insurance companies.
A bad hair day indeed.
Postscript. I got home at 1am, very tired (3am start yesterday with only two hours sleep). I'm upset about the car, but thank god that no-one got hurt - especially the chap from the garage. Who, again. moved a burning car away from my house. (He's a part time fireman - but still. This is above and beyond the call of duty).
An amusing side effect of this is that my missus was in the hairdressers getting her hair done. She saw the fire-engine go by, but didnt know for what. Our daughter climbed over the garden fence, and dragged the missus out of the hairdressers (still in a pinnie and with silver stuff in her hair). She only saw the back-view and didnt realise how bad it was until she saw these pictures.
I'm also very proud of our daughter, who did all the right things, didnt panic (even when the house was getting filled with smoke from the fire) took pictures, and still got time to revise for her maths exam on Friday morning.
I thank god that no-one was hurt. I mean, this is nothing compared to what Andrew Pollack went through when his car caught fire in his garage, or what Ben Rose went through in his crash. These things are sent to try us - and remind us whats important in life.