There has been a bit of rebellion going on in our house today, and my poor nerves, already frayed from quitting cigarettes, are being stretched to the limit, due to the mutinous acts by cantankerous cars, and a petulant washing-machine!

For starters, the washing machine that Mr Grump resuscitated a few days ago, has now finally decided to throw in the towel completely, and is now back to flashing all it’s lights at me, mocking my fruitless attempts to get it working, I was really cross, and called for Mr Grump to sort it out for me. (My attempts at switching it on and off countless times, plus pressing all the buttons  manically, did not work for some reason).He couldn’t get it going this time either, so I gave it a savage kick to show it who is boss, and decided that it’s going to have to go!

Next, my car, that needed the spare part to get rid of the annoying light that keeps coming on…Mr Grump has a friend that ‘is good with cars’ who was coming over this morning to fix it for me…he duly turned up as promised and I handed him the spare keys so that he could drive it away to his ‘garage’ or whatever and bring it back minus the annoying light.

After about 10 mins the door again… did he forget something?  I wondered,(he is an older gentleman, with more than a look of a ‘mad professor’ about him, with his wild grey hair that stuck out at all angles; think Einstein and you get the idea)! “Is there a knack to it?” he asks as I open the door. “A knack to what?”  I replied, wondering what the hell he was on about. Well it turns out my car won’t start! It worked perfectly well yesterday so I trotted out there myself to start it up, only it wouldn’t go for me either (God knows why he asked me about starting it anyway, he’s the one who is supposed to be good with cars)!!

He assured me not to worry, he would go off and get a special tool to remove the part, and will be back very shortly. He eventually came back, got the keys again and went outside. As I was about to shut the door he turned back and asked where the spare part was? That was tricky, I didn’t even know what it looked like let alone where it was, and anyway, it was a good job he didn’t take the car away the first time if he didn’t check that he had the vital part he needed!

I phoned Mr Grump who was at a friend’s locally, dog sitting (the dog was due to give birth at any time and the friend had a hospital appointment to go to and didn’t want to leave it on its own to have the puppies. Mr Grump is not renowned for his Midwifery skills, but he’ll give anything a go) who told me that the part was in the boot, which I passed on to Einstein, and left him to it.

Back he comes again after another 20 minutes.” Have you fixed it?” I enquire, with a big smile, “No, I still couldn’t get the old part out. These cars were built to last” Oh great! I’m really pleased about that, but now what?!! He told me that once Mr Grump got the car running (He obviously had no faith in my abilities – and rightly so), he would pick it up, take it off and do some ‘grinding’ or something to it (to be honest, my eyes had glazed over by now, I don’t know anything about cars and it is no good trying to explain anything to me either).

So off he went on his merry way! Five minutes later, Mr Grump returns home (the poor dog hadn’t gone into labour whilst he was there) and I raged to him about my car not working….Turns out the spare keys didn’t have the chip in them that was needed to start the car, and when he went out there to try it with the other key, it roared straight into action! Too late now though, Einstein had to take his mother (My God, she must be ancient) shopping this afternoon,and I would have to wait until Monday now. Still at least the car starts, I suppose!

As these things always come in threes (well so superstition dictates), the final culprit was Mr Grump’s car. He has a stereo that was built-in at the time of manufacture, that now doesn’t work! For some reason this also affects the indicators, although they work, they don’t make that ‘click, clock’ noise when used, which is very important to Mr Grump! He does love his music, as do I, so it was vital that he fix this problem as soon as possible. He had looked up what to do on some forum or other a while ago, ordered the part from good old eBay,which had now arrived, and went out to get it sorted.

I decided to see how he was getting on and went out to have a look. Strangely, this new part had to be plugged into something that was under the front passenger seat, so there was Mr Grump, seat pushed all the way forward, groping about blindly in the back of the car trying to fit this part. With him being left-handed, and his bad shoulder also being on  the left side, he was trying to do it (unsuccessfully) right-handed.

He decided to approach it this time from the front of the car, pushed the seat all the way back and grappled about for a while longer. I decided to put myself to good use and offered to push it through from the back, but after about 2 minutes of pushing and shoving, I got cramp and gave up. He continued for a short while later, and after hearing a satisfying click, decided that he had done it!

Great, he turned the ignition on…and it still didn’t work! Undaunted, he decided that he needed to reset the battery. He made me stand guard over the car whilst he went back indoors to grab some spanner he needed (Nobody with any sense would want to nick ANYTHING of ours), and promptly reset the battery. Ignition on and this time NOTHING AT ALL, the car wouldn’t even start!!! ( It does sometimes take a while to cough and splutter into life, before conking out, a few times before it finally gets going). A few muttered curses and a bit of jiggery- pokery later and the car starts –  but not the stereo! Poor old Mr Grump, back to the drawing board for him!