That's when I called the AA (this organization, not that one, for readers in the colonies) and in due course a nice man came to change the wheel. The spare was of a temporary sort, so after some thought I drove the relatively short distance to STS Tyre Pro in Holt to see if they could help me out.
They also told me that all four of my tyres were very seriously worn, and one of the unburst ones had a nasty bulge - a blowout waiting to happen. They all had to be replaced. Now, it would be my car that has wheels shaped like cycloids or equilateral heptagons or quantum Möbius pretzels or in any case some nonstandard shape Tyre Pro didn't usually have in stock, so the manager of the garage had to drive to Norwich to get them.
While he was away the mechanic took all the other wheels off to find that all the brake discs and pads were worn out too, and also had to be replaced. No sooner had the manager returned with the tyres (it was by now raining hard with a stiff breeze) than he had to return to Norwich to get the discs. Oh, and some engine oil, because I had discovered that the garage serviced cars too, and mine needed a service, so, hey, what the hell.
In the end I was there all day and had gotten to know all the staff fairly well, their first names, the ages of their children, and where they liked to go on holiday. These new friendships lessened the blow of the eventual bill, though not much. It was a very large bill.
None of this is strictly relevant to the following news, notwithstanding inasmuch as which that on Wednesday 7 June I finished editing the text of Across the Bridge, compiled the figures and captions, and bundled the doorstep-sized sheaf of paper to be mailed to the publisher. That sheaf was accompanied (under separate cover) by the whole lot on a USB stick.
|A ms, almost ready to submit. Recently.|
So it was that on the morning of Thursday 8 June I went to the post office and waved goodbye to almost two years of work, much as one might wave goodbye to a child taking its first unaccompanied trip out of doors. It'll be back, of course. There'll be the galleys to check. Then the page proofs, which I shall have to use for compiling an index. And I still have some admin to do in the meantime. But as Sam Goldwyn might have said, I have passed a
Later that same day was a General Election, the results of which I am sure you are aware.
|Gee Minor, overcome at having been able to vote in their first General Election.|
I think what Britain needs is for