An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, July 30, 2007

Up early

Up early this morning. Up before the cicadas so we could hear the birds for once. Up before the day began to heat up. A few moments of cool to water plants in. To clean the cellar and to sort out the dogs. And then a swift wander down to the strip to catch an early bus to Xania.

We were off to collect the car - after 10 weeks of inactivity her hydraulics are, we are told, fixed. A taxi ride out to a road that runs parallel to the main highway but that shows no evidence of how you get to it. Here is the garage - and Christopheros translates. It's only an arm and not an arm and a leg. But ... And it's a big but - when she was loaded onto the low loader they wrecked her exhaust. We pay and are assured that we can have any other work on her done there but after August. We drive off sounding like a London bus with a broken exhuast - we cannot hear each other speak. Oh and the battery is flat as a witch's tit.

They cannot find an exhaust specialist who has DS parts in Xania - but we know one in Rethymnon and that is where we are bound. Deafening. There are relative sweet spots - 2500 revs in 5th and 3000 revs in 4th where the noise is almost bearable. We try not to make too much noise but fail dismally. Eventually our exhaust man pronounces the system unfixable - we need replacement parts - and they have to come from Athens. A coule of days at least but "it's only a bit noisy and you do live in the country". He reminds me of my uncle Derek this man. And his manner is genuinely avuncular.

As we leave - to return in a few days - the electrical warning light glows orange and refuses to extinguish itself - the battery is not charging. We charge off up to the auto electrical specialist - damaging eardrums as we go. A young man implicates the alternator but his more senior colleague refutes this and sets to work looking like a Greek version of Paul Newman with a permanent fag in the left hand corner of his mouth. The regulator comes out and is opened. Cabling is stripped back - the wiring loom long since dined on by rats when she used to spend 9 months a year in storage. An hour later he surfaces from beneath the bonnet - come back tomorrow - leave the car here - tomorrow at 11.

And so we wait on.

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