So, having been rescued from the verge of the A12 and almost certain dessication and carbon monoxide poisoning, we find ourselves in a paradisical oasis called “Services”. Here we avail ourselves of the facilities; food, water and toilets, all the trappings of civilisation, are once again within our reach.
The trailer arrives a short while later, strapped to the rescue vehicle, slumped like a drunken carnival queen attempting to relive former glories. We resume discussions with the AA man. He informs us that we are more likely to be going ice-skating in hell than finding a replacement tyre in any sort of useful timescale. This is not good news.
With very little cajoling and no pleading whatsoever (although perhaps a mild rant) on my part, this marvellous chap agrees to ferry the trailer on to our destination in Colchester (a further 25 miles) even though we are not covered for Relay service. He says that he will tell them that I was very distressed and he had no choice. I’m not, in fact, distressed at all. I am surprised by just how un-distressed I am about the whole thing (other than being rather wearied by the long wait). I have been through it all before, you see, and it is still relatively early in the day, our destination is not much further and I am very much looking forward to the rest of weekend. I have also had half a M&S chicken sandwich, which must count as some sort of therapy.
We take to the road again, arranging to meet the nice man at our destination, and it is not long after we ourselves have arrived that the enormous vehicle is attempting to squeeze through the narrow gates of Lower Castle Park. After some to-ing and fro-ing to negotiate the various other tents in the process of being erected, we are reunited with the trailer and thus all the things we need for the weekend. We press a bottle of beer (from our small stash) into the nice man’s hand and bid him a warm farewell.
The tent is soon up with
hindrance help from (sm)all hands and we take a moment to sit in the shade with well-earned beer. There is still much to be done – bedding to be prepared, stock set out, layout to be planned – so this is a very brief respite, but eventually everything is largely in its place and we can forget about what we are going to do about the trailer for the moment. One of the trading tables is temporarily pressed into service for dining and we are able to have a very civilised family meal.
Saturday dawns bright and extremely early, unless you are part of the twittering chorus (no, not that Twitter). Further phone calls to local tyre purveyors confirm that “Not a hope” is the chance of getting a replacement for the old and rarely stocked tyre that we use. We drag the thing off somewhere less conspicuous, so we can worry about what to do with it later, but are resigned that the only option may be to abandon the thing.
Then, comes wonderful chap number 2, who it transpires is an ex-Forces mechanic and can fix absolutely anything. He happens to have some Mini wheels hanging about at home that might do the job and volunteers to fetch them for the next day. By Sunday morning, the trailer is fitted with new wheels, albeit mounted back-to-front, and it looks as though we will be get the thing back home again after all.
Meanwhile, I have already asked a couple of people, who have travelled from our local area, if they can squeeze in some of our gear and ferry it back at the end of the weekend. (I am reluctant to trust in the trailer’s ability to make it home). These wonderful people are happy to help and some additional volunteers even come to offer assistance if we need it. (The arrival of the large AA vehicle had not gone un-noticed). I am overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit and strive to repay this good Karma as best I can.
It is a good couple of day’s trading though. DD makes a new friend, from whom she is virtually inseperable (search parties are, not always successfully, sent out to find her at meal and bed times), and I meet up with an old friend from school. A very pleasant weekend and good time is had by all 🙂
Tomorrow…the saga continues. Will the trailer make it home or does further disaster await?