bearings

This noise is driving me crazy!! It’s so bad I can feel it in my seatbelt. I can’t hear the engine or the road, or Ry Cooder’s clanging guitar, come to that. I’m driving my Honda Jazz to the garage to have the clapped-out bearings replaced. I’ve had one lot done but the noise has got worse. It’s 40 minutes of aural torture, then relief, I hope.

I book it in, then walk the half-mile on the path beside the noisy road, to the garden centre. A huge Alsatian starts barking crazily at me: enough to deter the casual visitor, but I’m here for breakfast, and to while away the hourandahalf it takes to change the bearings. A burly waiter(? – I don’t know what to call a man who serves breakfast in a garden centre) welcomes me. He’s an old rocker – the softened Triumph tattoo and quiff are the clues – and friendly, but the hash browns are off because the chef hasn’t arrived yet.

I sit and listen to the retired couples at the next table talking about caravan holidays past for forty minutes, till my Full English arrives (it’s worth the wait). The caravanners are driven indoors by wasps  and I stroll around looking at plants and an interesting weather-cock till it’s time to walk back to the garage. I spend two hundred and thirtysomething quid and drive off, listening to Ry’s glistening guitar, and the sound of the road…

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