Despite only being back in Cork three days, last Thursday we made the trek back to my parents’ home in Co. Wexford because we simply couldn’t get enough. Or, rather, we realised we were bored of Cork for a bit, and the grandparents wanted to do a bit more spoiling. They promised me extra sleep. I was sold.
I’ve started to like Wexford more now that I see it in small increments of a few days here and there. It’s a break from the norm, getting to see family, getting to see E interact with them, getting to just relax a bit. Sometimes there is even some of that famed sunshine that we hear so much about. This time hasn’t been relaxing, as such, but it has been interesting, to say the least.
My brother collected us on Thursday on his way to Wexford from Limerick, where he’s currently living. Said brother is three years younger than me, but has a full licence and is a good little driver so despite my fears of the road, I’m good with being in the car (and having E with me) when he’s driving. His car is Mam’s old one, and to say she’s seen better days would be an understatement, but she drives and thats the main thing. Or rather, she normally drives. He collected me outside the gym after my first hydrotherapy session, and before we even got to the end of the road, drama ensued. Hello Battery light. Hello Panic.
The light went off again after he fiddled around under the hood. Grand. Back to the apartment. Child collected from creche. Bags packed. Back into the car. Bam, hello red light again. Cue more panic and creative swearing. Cue a warning to him to minimise the swearing as E is in that wonderful stage where he hears you say something and repeats something that sounds like it. I google what the battery light means. Google is inconclusive about what the actual definite problem is, basically says “It can be anything, get it seen to” – Gee, thanks Google, real helpful. Mentions of battery death and alternators are hushed and are not allowed to be mentioned in the car, for fear of giving it ideas. As for Break-down? Completely banned. Oh it was that kind of journey.
The light remained on, blinking once or twice then beaming out brighter, the entire way to Waterford. I discovered a whole new side to my little brother, road rage – not the kind at other drivers (apart from that one who really needed to check what the speed limit was) but rather at his admittedly worrisome car. We worried about getting stuck in the back of beyonds with no phone signal and a toddler with limited milk and snacks. He started to lament the loss of his payday (Friday). We continued the drive, turning off all non-essential operatives of the car – radio, windows, air con. If we could have turned off the clock, which was operating on GMT -3 time and refused to change, we would have. There was lots of singing of The Wheels on The Bus to appease said toddler, who at this point was coated in Melba toast and carrot stick crumbs. We prayed the car wouldn’t stall at any traffic lights – having visions of a scene not unlike the image of Dougal circling Craggy Island in the milk float in that episode of Father Ted, unable to go faster or slower than 4 miles an hour. Eventually, we arrived at my aunts house, relieved we’d gotten there without major incident – not even a tantrum from the tiny man himself.
The remainder of the journey was the problem. After spending some time with my aunt and her family, where E was in his element “playing Xbox” with my teenage cousin, we got back in the car to head back to Wexford. We got to just outside Waterford when the ABS light turned on. More swearing. The child was asleep in the back at this point. We pulled into a filling station, about to close, and he ran in to get brake fluid. More action under the hood. And bam. Car dead. No moving. Panicked phone-call to parents with a “Can you come get us, we’re stuck on the side of the road”, brother in a cold sweat ringing roadside assist trying to explain every single detail about his car to them in a most frustrating way. It’s starting to seem less likely that a jump start will fix her and more likely that the car was going to take more of his money. Not happy just about summed it up. Mention of the alternator requiring replacement was met with a grimace, such things do not come cheap, but as the battery was recently sorted out it was seeming to be the problem. The mechanic who arrived to help out agreed. The car was soon towed away and us rescued – including sleeping child moved in carseat from one car to another without waking- but as a start to the trip, it wasn’t exactly ideal. That said, it could have been a lot worse had we not been pulled in! I definitely think it was a bonding journey with my brother ,if nothing else!
The rest of the weekend was thankfully a whole lot less dramatic, there’s lots more to tell but thankfully all happier… hopefully his car will be out of the garage soon!