The boyfriend had to send his car to the great scrapheap in the sky today, as it finally became uneconomical to repair. It’s not a big blow, as we’ve been thinking about getting rid of it for some time, but it’s one of those things, that when it comes on top of the death of a loved one can on occasion be just that little bit much to deal with.
But as I sat quietly this afternoon, reflecting on loss, and the similarities between us, we both have one remaining grand parent, his a paternal grandfather, mine a maternal grandmother, another long forgotten memory floated to the forefront of my mind once more.
On Friday, August 30th 1997 I woke up knowing I was going to have to see the garage round the corner from where I lived about the repair bill to my poor, broken down car, which I had to have towed there the previous day. The news was not good, the tiny piece of tubing required to maintain a vacuum in my engine, and thus keep the car running was going cost in excess of £300 by the time I had paid to have it fitted.
Since I’d only paid £600 for it in the first place, and my budget was practically zero my car was uneconomical to repair. I went back to my rented house which was fortunately being paid for by work and cried my eyes out. I was in debt, had just moved 50+ miles away from home and family, borrowing ridiculously off them to buy the house I was in the middle of purchasing, and my last link independence had just gone up in smoke with no chance of ever replacing it.
Two hours later I had a phone call from my sister, the one and only time I can honestly say that she has ever instigated a telephone conversation with me, my grandmother had passed away that same morning, ‘well now she’s got a car to drive round in,’ I thought wryly. I was lucky to have car rental place across the road, and enough room on my embattled credit cards at the time to afford to go back home.
I spent that night sat round a table in my parents back garden, drinking several bottles of wine and swinging rapidly between tears of sorrow and tears of joy, at reminiscing over the beloved battle-axe that had been my grandmother, and yes, if you recognise dates, woke up the following morning to the news that Princess Diana had been killed in a car crash in Paris.
The best thing I ever heard that weekend, came from my cousins youngest daughter at the time.
“Won’t Grandmama be surprised that Princess Diana has gone to heaven to welcome her?”
I don’t think about my Nan much anymore it’s been almost 15 years now, but sometimes, when I’m struggling she comes to mind, she was a formidable woman with unfathomable depths of inner strength, and her genes are the one thing that have given me the ability to ‘keep calm and carry on’ when things are hard.
But how bizarre that now when I’m in the process of buying a new flat, and I’m back in debt due to divorce, that almost the same set of circumstances are in place?
Better keep an eye on royalty for the next few weeks eh?