Friday, August 27, 2010


As usual, I seem to be drowning in small-but-urgent things to do.

My friends in the north of the island have been adopted by an abandoned kitten. This is not much of a problem, except that a) they'd just booked a holiday and b) there's no catching the kitten to take it to the cattery and c) the neighbours are away too. So it's cancel the holiday (and they're exhausted), leave the weeks-old kitten to fend for itself, or I do it. Wonderful, it's over an hour's drive each way. But I'll only need to do it alternate days, and that'll be less tiring then the insomnia if I don't.

I got a small travel writing gig which I want to finish this week. So that meant a trip to Puerto Naos on the other side of the island, one of the few spots I don't often go (because there's another good beach just 10 minutes away).

So then the car brakes started squealing. Have I mentioned that this island is covered in twisty, steep mountain roads? Exactly the sort of place where squealing brakes takes all the fun out of travel.

So my husband spent the evening changing the brake pads or trying to.

It turned out that the last time I had the tyres changed, the workshop put the lug nuts on far, far too tightly. By the time Carlos got them off, most of them had broken threads. So it was rather late when he took the old brake pads with him to buy new ones (to get the exact model) and when the first two places were out of that kind of brake pad, everywhere else was shut. All he got was replacement lug nuts.

But he announced that the car was OK to drive.

I said, "Are you sure? I mean, my life insurance cover expired, you know."

But he was sure. Just as long as I took it easy.

So I went to see my friends in the north of the island the next day, driving s l o w l y and got nice clear instructions on cat sitting. In the evening, Carlos went to get brake pads from a shop that had ordered them in specially.

Wrong pads - they fit the current model of Toyota Yaris, not mine.

So yesterday I went to the other side of the island for my travel writing, driving s l o w l y , got my info, saw friends, and had fun. I particularly liked digging the first bit of the canal from one side of the island to the other, along with a five-year-old.

This morning the right kind of brake pads have arrived, and Carlos should finish the job. He'd better, because I'm absolutely NOT taking that car up to the observatory with dodgy brakes. For pity's sake, I have to drive back down about 6,500 ft to get home!

All good fun.

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