Watch the Birdie - Or else!!

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Mon 10 Aug 2015 11:31
Us - Hayling Island, Hants, UK .......(‘Ajaya’ – Titusville, FL, USA)
Where does the time go?  August already and we’ve still not booked flights back to Orlando. Not that we’re about to depart the UK just yet but you do have to plan ahead! So how is life back in the UK in our snug little static caravan with an old French banger for transport? Not too bad really, although summer seems to have taken a break for the time being. Its just as well as the only working form of air conditioning in the car is an open window. It would certainly have been useful to have left a window open recently on a grocery shopping run. We had parked the car outside our garden gate next to the ‘van’ with the hatchback door open whilst we carted the bags in. For reasons only known to itself a small bird decided to fly through the cavernous rear opening whilst we were busy a few yards away. It must have been slightly concerned when ‘Skip’ came back to the car a few moments later, slammed the boot shut and reversed into our tiny parking space before locking it for the night. There was no way for that little birdie to re-join the outside world and fly back to wherever birds spend the night. Now this isn’t a sad story with a deadly ending, just a slightly messy one.
The next day as the ‘Admiral’ opened the tailgate to retrieve some items there was the little fellow perched on a headrest rocking on it’s tiny legs looking dazed and confused. Evidence of it’s unfortunate incarceration was clearly visible everywhere, mainly on the dark, recently cleaned upholstery. The bird flew past the ‘Admiral’ and began feasting frantically on grubs in the grass around the car. Then the recriminations started as the bird continued with it’s feast just inches away from our feet. “Didn’t you see it in the rear view mirror when you reversed into the drive for goodness sake?!”. “Well, no I didn’t otherwise I would have opened a window and let it fly out!”. As the bird obviously had no way of explaining it’s own version of events we concluded that whatever happened the mess had to be cleared up. For some reason the ‘Admiral’ was awarded the job! Now we check for interlopers before shutting doors or windows. In hindsight the bird may have gone crazy flying around the car whilst one of us was driving at 70 mph along the motorway, so we ultimately felt we had dodged a bullet – if only a small feathery one at that.
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Not a seat left untouched.............
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.....but all’s well that ends well.
One other car story happened on the night we had visited ‘Skip’s’ Brother’s house for a Birthday celebration. Leaving at 1130pm we found that ‘Goldilocks’ (the nick-name ‘Skip’s’ Bro had affectionately given the car) had very inconveniently put itself into ‘Economy Mode’. In essence it means that absolutely nothing useful will work until the battery is fully recharged.  This was due to us having left the only thing that hasn’t been wired into an alarm to tell you that it’s been left on, on! This situation meant that the ‘Admiral’ had to climb over the gear stick to gain entry to the passenger side (not so easy after an evening of celebrating) as all doors and electric windows excluding the drivers door were now deadlocked. The airbags were now also out of action if you believed the warning lights. We didn’t call the rescue people as the car is registered at Bro’s address and we didn’t have ‘Homestart’ cover. So it was out with the jump leads with our respective cars head to head to re-start our disabled chariot. Have you tried to locate batteries on a dark night in a modern car recently? Luckily no-one welded themselves to a battery terminal in the poor light.
Back at the ‘van’ – it was now 00:30, with the doors still deadlocked, the ‘Admiral’ had to repeat the tricky procedure over the gear stick. ‘Skip’ then, not wanting to disturb our neighbors, drove to a local isolated car park on the beach a mile away. He sat for half an hour with the engine in fast idle with all the lights out to recharge the wimp of a battery under the bonnet whilst hoping the local constabulary didn’t arrive to ask awkward questions. We needed the car to be running for an important trip to Guildford the following day so it was at 07:30 the following morning that a bleary-eyed ‘skip’ tentatively put the key into the ignition to start the car. It worked!! The airbags were working, the doors were unlocking and locking – it all worked. Magically reset overnight. Cars! they are too clever for their own good, and certainly for these two owners. Give ‘Skip’ a couple of Yanmar 35s any day.
                                                                            ‘Goldilocks’ undertaking a tricky parking manoeuvre – haven’t hit the fence yet!
Next blog we’re back on the water as we witness at first hand the successful start of the British entry in the America’s Cup as we jostled with over two thousand other craft to get the best view – just glad it wasn’t our own boat!