Saturday, 1 August 2015
My car has been in the garage all week. Its brake failure was a bit of a mystery. First of all they thought that my new Master Cylinder must be faulty so they put in another one. Kenny took it out for a test run and...same thing...sudden failure. "you must have shat yourself" he said to me on the phone. He didn't realise that ladies never shit themselves - they merely perspire...There must be air in the system - but they couldn't figure out how there could be air in the system. Damned if I know. It's not something my brain can think about. I don't know enough about the systems involved. Anyway, they bled and bled the brakes apparently. It worked in the middle-ages for all kinds of illnesses so perhaps it could work for my brakes.
So I got the car back yesterday. Kenny had kept it for an extra day and taken it out on every small trip he had to take, just to test the thing. There was no reason to distrust it, except, nobody knew why it had had rogue air in the system in the first place.
I was uneasy taking it out - or I was and I wasn't. Sitting in the cock-pit of the Berlingo, I actually feel safe. We have flown many hours together. But...but...what if I suddenly didn't have brakes again? I took it the slow way, along the coast, to Gullane, knowing that I would have to try my brakes over and over and over if I did this. It's amazing how many people walk right out in front of you. I hadn't really noticed before. Generally they push their baby buggies out first, to test the water presumably, and then step out themselves.
I drove slowly and cautiously, conscious that the people trapped behind me were probably pouring out the same stream of frustrated sweary words that I do when I get stuck behind someone a bit slow. Still I wasn't taking any chances.
And there were no mishaps. None at all. But once the trust has gone...how long does it take to come back? Give it time. Fellow Porty Aileen is giving me a lift to Donkey Brae tomorrow which is just perfect. It'll be a while before I feel like giving anyone a lift. Anyway, that was death no.1. I was anxious before taking the car out today. I knew it was going to be okay but what if it wasn't? I've got a mind like that. "What if this is my last bowl of porridge?" I thought this morning. "Good-bye flat" I thought, "Good-bye dust. Good-bye pile o' dishes."
Death no.2 was going for a sea swim on my own. Buchanan is on day 4 of the Tour of Fife and is over the water with a merry band of Porties and honorary Porty, Nick from Dunbar. I'm on about 5 weeks and counting until the Craggy Island Triathlon and its sea swim out to Kerrera. The urge to improve at swimming and be able to cover some distance reliably is increasing in urgency. I've been going for two pool swims a week and then an open water swim at the weekend. I think I was a wee bit better this week, but there's plenty room for improvement. I've swum in the sea on my own quite a bit and Gullane is great for being shallow, but I was a bit nervous. I'm used to having Peter there swimming too. There was a brisk west wind blowing and I made pretty good headway going west. Swimming the other way was a whole other story. What if the wind or the tide is against us on the swim to Kerrera? It makes all the difference in the world.
Back in the winter, I read a thread on the Open Water Swimming facebook page that I found really interesting. It was about people's fear of the water. This woman was linking their fears of what might happen in the water to fears in other areas of their lives. So this one woman who was afraid she might get dragged under by something realised that that was how she was feeling in her work-life too. It was a generalised fear. I had a laugh at Peter because he seemed to think that sharks could be a problem in the Forth. "You just don't know what might come up from underneath!" That doesn't bother me - but getting swept out to sea and not being able to do anything about it...that bothers me.
I've had a week off work this week and I fondly thought I might be going trips in the van in the sun-shine. There hasn't been much sunshine though, and I haven't had the van. So I've been running and swimming locally and reading a book called 'The New Black - Mourning and Melancholia' by Darian Leader. It's pretty interesting albeit quite abstruse in places. Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe's mother died when he was three and he and his baby sister were left over night in the house with her until a family friend found them the next day? Poor old Poe. No wonder he spewed out horror his whole life and then died of the drink.
Well I've survived my day of double death, so I best attend to the mundane...you know, have a shower and all that, maybe do some dishes, maybe cook the tea, get myself ready for Donkey Brae tomorrow.