Friday, March 20


Well that has been quite a week. The postman knocks and then scampers half-way down the driveway before I open the door, leaving my post and parcels in a little pile on the gravel. We shout our news and greetings and I can’t help but smile at how ridiculous this all seems. Coming indoors I then have a dilemma: should I wash the outside of the envelopes and parcels? I decide instead to open them there, throw the unwanted wrapping in the bin and then wash my hands for the approved twenty seconds or so.

I wake each morning really pleased that I have no signs of the virus and say to myself that, provided I keep away from people and possibly infected things, I should make it through the day. That’s all very well but then someone buys one of my Corgi Toys and I need to go to the Post Office. Greens Norton Post Office doesn’t seem too much of a risk to me. As long as my card works on the contactless point, I have noted that my fingers don’t touch anything throughout the whole visit, but I still wash them vigorously when I get home.

The other risk I have to take is a trip to the supermarket to buy food and whatever else I need. I don’t do the monthly shop with a massive trolley. I don’t even do the weekly shop. Until now, I have tended to go in two or three times a week and that has led to my waste being almost zero. Before, I found myself throwing away quite a few items that had passed their ‘Eat by’ dates so my simple get what I need when I need it system was eminently suitable and worked. OK, so I use more fuel but it’s only a few miles to Towcester and I like to keep the car well-used. It always seems happier than being left for ages.

On the occasions that I have had trips abroad I leave my car at Jason’s house and either he or Steve take me to Luton Airport. It saves me a fortune and it’s nice to catch up with the lads from time to time too. When I return, however, every time my car spews petrol on to their drive and I can see the river flowing down to where I had parked as I reverse up and stop to drive off. It used to scare me but now I know that, after a few minutes, it will stop and, provided that I don’t leave the car for another long period, it won’t happen again. It seems to be a problem with some seals around my fuel injectors - they don’t expand at the same rate as some other parts and that allows the fuel to escape until they have, eventually, expanded to the size they’re supposed to be and thus block the flow in the wrong direction. Even when stopped overnight, the metal still doesn’t seem to cool to the extent for a leak to develop or, if it does, it is minimal. But leave it for several days and the gap gets bigger.

Yes, I know, I’ll have to get it fixed one day before I disappear in a puff of smoke but I have yet to find any helpful reference online to tell me or my mechanic friend exactly what needs to be done. Every time I take the car to him it is behaving itself perfectly in that respect and he sees no sign of a leak either. He knows what he’s doing with the old BMWs that I have too and is reasonable enough to tell me that he could replace part X and then find that we need to change Y and Z too and still have the problem. To replace any more could cost more than the car is worth so I’ll carry on taking the risk for a while longer yet.

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