I told him that it was a mistake to take little Custard up and down mountains with a thumping great caravan in tow but … he went. Added to that, it is nearing the end of the holiday season even for tough old campers like him so sites are closing for the winter. He went anyway.
Custard has learned a lot from me. First he burst his radiator and went dry. This is similar to me being forced to go without a cup of tea for longer than two hours and the result is the same – stubborn, not-budging refusal. Badger was rather surprised that I knew the name for the gunk one puts in leaky radiators to form a seal over the hole (Radweld) but when one has driven as many old junk-heaps as I have …
Our favourite camp-site in Orange, where the huge dog lives, was closing for the winter but Patrick grudgingly agreed to stay open one more night for Badger but oh sad, Marco had gone away so Lily had nobody to play with.
Having been obliged to go as far into Spain as he has ever been and up some very steep hills, Custard put the final knife in and ate his own battery. Nothing to do with Badger leaving anything on apparently, the battery just died. Oh fun oh joy. He is without the languages-witch and resorts to Spanglish with a group of lorry drivers who helped him contact our Auto-Assistance in Paris. New battery brought out from nearest garage and no he refuses to tell me how much it cost. I should imagine by now that Custard was chuckling up his exhaust pipe as Dad ran around herding the cat, walking the dog and resisting offers of early morning Rioja from the drivers.
They got home. The only other disaster was that with me having ensured in every way I could that we
could stay in touch with a minimum of expense (cheap text package on our phones, text me to say you have a line and go on Skype)…Badger christened his computer with generous helpings of wine, rendering it useless. Knowing his first instinct would be to bin the damn thing I gave him stern warnings to put it in its bag and bring it home where I will see if I can do anything to fix it.
Happy ending (I like happy endings) – they are all safely back in the Bingergread cottage and in Piston’s absence, the rodents in the workshop have been having their own fiesta. Badger sounds much more relaxed and may even be more amenable to the idea that following the disasters in Slovenia and his solo-Spanish outing, maybe someone is trying to tell us something.