In The Days Before Mobile Phones

By Beryl Wills

For weeks I had been telling my husband that there was something wrong with my car, as on several occasions I had found difficulty in getting the gears.

"Its your driving" was his reply, and left it at that.

Then one evening as my daughter and I were returning home from shopping, and I was driving along the road, the same thing happened again. But this time before the car actually stopped it went into a spasm of jerks, like the ones thatmost of us are familiar with when first learning to drive (commonly known as Kangaroo Jumps). When this happened, my daughter and I just looked at one another, as mechanics neither of us are. To add to the catastrophe, the place where we had broken down was on the Kidderminster Road, in a spot where there wasnt a house, or human to be seen. But, after several attempts trying to get the car started again, we had to admit defeat, and settle with the knowledge that we had no alternative but to walk, as some distance back we had seen a garage. The most annoying part was the weather, which was atrocious, a gale force wind almost blew us off our feet, and the rain that never ceased to pour.

It was like a scene from a horror movie, and as we started on our journey it got even worse, as even the trees seemed to have faces. Every sound we heard caused us to look nervously over our shoulder. Although we did manage to ignore the squelching of our shoes, where the rain continued to seep in, leaving us feeling, and sounding, as though we were walking through a quagmire.

When we arrived at the garage the proprietor couldn't have been nicer, as he let me use his telephone to ring my husband, and even offered us a cup of coffee.

The sanctuary of the garage was a welcome haven after the gruesome journey. As my daughter and I sat there, looking like rag dolls, with make up streaming down our faces, and hair wet and straggly like that of the Yorkshire terrier, I suddenly became aware that we weren't the only ones in the room. Sitting in the corner, eyes fixed on us permanently, was a ferocious Alsatian, whose ears pricked up every time we moved. To make matters worse, the owner of the garage had to leave us alone with him while he went to serve petrol. Each time he did this my daughter and I froze, like statues from the Ice Age.

When my husband arrived he didn't look pleased. Apparently, when I rang him, he was just about to settle down in front of the fire, with a tot of whisky, and his much-loved pork and pickle sandwich, which when we got home had been eaten by the dog. Ah well!