Dad to the Rescue!

My first car was a bronze-coloured 1981 Renault 5, called Dorfie, who always had an incense stick burning on his dash-board, held on with a lump of blu-tak. One January night, my friends and I left our local pub, clambered into Dorfie, lit the incense, and I drove us 10 miles to a night-club.  We parked up and paid our £3 to get in. Three hours later we came back out: hot, sweaty and buzzing after a night of dancing to The Human League, Bad Manners and Michael Jackson. No-one told us it had been snowing!  We mucked about in the snow for a bit before piling back into Dorfie for the drive home.  I turned the key for his familiar engine sounds: silence. I tried again: silence. “Shit!”. Everyone apart from me got out, positioned themselves around his rear-end and pushed.  Nothing. It was 1.45am.  After much discussion there was only one solution to our dilemma: I had to phone Dad. We rushed back to the lobby of the Club to use the phone.  Forty-five minutes later we were once again in Dorfie, chatting and laughing whilst being towed home to the farm through the beautiful white Somerset countryside by Dad in the Land Rover.

My fourth car was a little blue mini called Bertie. Bertie and I had great adventures: once we drove 452 miles from Somerset to Loch Lomond (shame about the midges) in 8 hours.  On another journey I was driving back to Somerset from college in Essex, with boxes and clothes piled up inside and with a Christmas tree and my racing bike, Fred, tied to the roof-rack.  We merrily zoomed around the empty M25 (hard to believe) and onto the M3 – racing past Basingstoke.  Bertie started to judder. I pressed my foot down harder on the accelerator: more judders. I moved into the slow lane and took my foot off the accelerator which made no difference to Bertie’s uncharacteristic behaviour. He spluttered and lost all power. I pulled onto the hard shoulder and coasted to a halt. I tried starting him a few times, but there was no sign of life.  I walked along to the emergency phone and spoke to a very friendly woman who said she’d call a local garage.  Not long after, Bertie and I were loaded onto a trailer and taken to a garage near Basingstoke.  I phoned Dad. Two hours later I was helping Dad and the garage-man push Bertie up the tail-ramp into the horse-box that was attached to the Land Rover. We tied him in, closed the tail-ramp and off we drove, down the A303 and home to the farm.

Dad, without question, but usually with a roll of his eyes and a tut, always came to my rescue.

I miss him.






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