Yesterday was the date that Klaus the Knaus' annual motorhome service and MOT was scheduled. Six years ago when I first took sole ownership I found a lovely garage where a kind man called Steve, who's more accustomed to looking after poorly HGVs, looks after Klaus and me very well. But it's a twenty mile journey from the rural campsite where I store Klaus. I have to coax him into starting after a long period of sitting still, a procedure that has involved the RAC. If he needs work I have to get back to my car at the storage site via two or three buses or beg friends for lifts. It's a right palaver and then there's the potential cost of work on an ageing motorhome. No wonder I've built it up in my mind as the worst day of the year.
But this year I decided it would be different. I was determined to turn this into a day that I would enjoy, at least a little bit. Klaus started on the first turn of the key. That's because the kind men at the campsite had charged his battery for me. He went like a dream down the A38 and I enjoyed driving him after such a period of absence. When I got him to the garage I popped into Newton Abbot on the bus. My three and a half hour wait wasn't at all unpleasant. Two hours were spent in the library where I had coffee and cake in the cafe and then I settled down into a cosy armchair for a read. This was where this picture was taken. I think I was sitting next to the carousel holding the Western genre! I had a stroll around the shops and availed myself of the toiletries in Wilko.
Back at the garage the damage wasn't too bad. Knaus had passed after the addition of some shiny new brake pads. Then I took him to a local caravan supplier who deduced that his leisure battery was completely shagged. More forking out but it couldn't have been a lot worse. Back at the campground Alan and Rob have decided that they'd like a little project and will fit it for me.
I spent the evening with friends in a pub celebrating a birthday. The food was delicious, it was lovely to catch up and there's the remains of a Thai banquet in my fridge for lunch. So not a bad day altogether. A conscious decision to make the best of things really did seem to help smooth the path.