Wednesday, 19 October 2011


And it may be mental!

At this time of year I am invariably brought to a halt, by a flat tyre - not a big dramatic blow-out, just a disheartening slow puncture.  All the same requiring a wheel change, usually in wind and rain!  This is either an amazing coincidence, or down to the cutting of the hedges - they look super smart and tidy, but leave the 'choppings' as potential tyre breakers.

I am amazed how tough and spikey a hawthorne prickle can be, but it penetrates the rubber and damages the inner-tube, even weeks after cutting.

Image from Nic's blog at Nip it in the bud who makes a wonderful saucy haw ketchup

However, on this occasion I have a confession - it is nothing to do with a flat tyre, but my vehicle spluttered to a halt, the engine choking, foul smelling exhaust in white plumes behind me and no power at the pedal.  It felt like the engine had blown up.

In panic I contacted the garage, and later that day went to see them, limping and jerking along accompanied by horrible clanking and grinding under the bonnet.  Checks were made, scratches of heads, questions, connections secured, engine turned, engine off, and then I mentioned that the problem had occured almost immediately after filling up at the local garage - could the fuel be contaminated?  The filler cap came off, noses to the tank and then 'You filled up with petrol didn't you?'  A moment of numbness, I couldn't have, no, I've never done it, don't be silly.  An easy check - my fuel receipt - and there in black and white - confirmation of my stupidity - 'fuel - unleaded'!!!!  It should have been diesel!

I'm just hoping that this confession, normally I would not have owned to it, or ever mentioned it, will help my poor vehicle forgive the idiocy and not be damaged inside too much.


  1. hawthorn spikes are lethal - we have to keep our tree well and truly pruned having had some near misses with eye level branches. Pruning is also hazardous though and poor G stood on a branch and the spike went right through his shoe!
    Enjoy the ketchup if you get a chance to make it and glad the car issue was easily remedied even if it left you feeling a little red faced!

  2. Thanks Nic, glad others get in Hawthorne tangles too, my geese tread on them and end up with holes right through their orange webs! But they do supply birds with protection and so many red berries at this time of year - lovely idea too that they are said to be planted by fairies!


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