Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh The Humidity!

Cherub's curls in the humidity. Ain't they sweet?

I'll start this by telling you that Fixit and I both have back problems. I have a slight scoliosis and just general pain and tension caused and compounded by wrangling/nursing babies for the last 5 years, and Fixit's back is basically stuffed from his big motorbike accident which was 10+ years ago. Last year we both started seeing Frank, who is a wonderful chiropractor, a family friend and the nicest man. I have a weekly appointment, Fixit goes twice weekly and we've both improved so much. I never thought I'd hear myself say stuff like this, but it is such a good thing to be able to turn my head to look over my shoulder again. If you're younger than 30, shut-up. Or enjoy it while you still can.

Anyway, what with Christmas and going to the beach for the weekend, it has been nearly a month since my last treatment so I was really looking forward to this morning's appointment. Fixit had to work so we were tag-teaming appointments and childminding via a nearby park; he left early and then I hauled myself and the kids into the car, minutes to spare. We made it maybe 10 metres down the road. The poor car limped out of the driveway and even I noticed it was handling like a dog, and I got out to look and there it was. FLAT TYRE. I nearly cried.

The pathetic thing is that it may have been flat-tish for a while, but I'm so unattuned to this stuff that I'll notice in an abstracted sense that something is wrong with the car, and maybe check to see if the overdrive has been switched on by small hands or if I'm in 2 instead of D ... and when I see that neither is the case I'll think well that's allright then and put aside the fact that the car is still handling like a dog and keep driving. If Fixit reads this he will sigh and shake his head (possibly you may be doing the same) and say This is why I worry, even though my driving record is not besmirched with any sins or accidents *touches wood* and his is.

Here's a thing. Yesterday, Climber and I had a discussion about how many wheels a car has; he said 5 counting the steering wheel. I said I'd show him the Secret Wheel, and did an educational explanation of flat tyres. Then I lifted the hatch, preparing to unveil the Secret Wheel and couldn't work out how to unveil it because there was carpet (which lifted) and then heavy cardboard (which wouldn't budge), so then in complete anticlimax I had to say well there is a Secret Wheel under there, but I can't show it to you at the moment.

One of the first things my father did when I bought my first car at age 17 was teach me how to change a tyre. I've done it a couple of times and it's not that hard, except the muscles bit. (My legs are strong but I never, ever win an arm-wrestle). Living with Fixit means my DIY muscles have atrophied. Why keep a dog and bark yourself, you know? And I already knew I couldn't lift the stupid cardboard, let alone do all the "find the jack, get the wheel-nuts off" ... I re-scheduled the appointment for the afternoon and poor Fixit raced home from a crappy day at work to change the tyre. I should probably mention here that he was also severely hungover from carousing on Friday night. At which point he discovers that the Secret Wheel spare tyre is flat. So he has to grab the foot pump and pump it up. I'm too old for this, he mutters.

At last, the tyre looks drive-able and although I don't have time to go via a service station to put the required psi into it, it looks like I'll make the re-scheduled appointment. But first we have to go through the pantomime of me backing the car up our very narrow driveway. I hate reversing, it makes me tense. Fixit starts saying unintelligible things to me about left hand down, which confuses me because I am driving one-handed and one of my hands is already at the bottom of the steering wheel so what the fuck does he mean? So then I lift my left hand in the air so he can see it through the windscreen and demonstrate what I think he means. Like this? I ask, turning my left hand anti-clockwise from top to bottom. He rolls his eyes and nods at me. Right hand down he says. What? Like this?

That was my day. I made it to the appointment and I feel MUCH better now, thanks for asking. But after such a heavy duty start, I think it only right that I take the night off from cooking, and as I type this our Vietnamese delivery has just arrived and I am about to pour my second glass of wine.

Here is what the Climber can get up to if you take your eyes off him for a minute.

Does he look worryingly at home on that motorcycle or what?


  1. Ugh flat tyres - had one a few weeks ago. I didn't realise it either really. The car didn't feel right but it wasn't until I stopped and saw it that I found out.

    My partner changed it for me. He even went and pumped it up to spec.

    Next morning (at 6.50 when I have to start work at 7am) I discover it's flat again. Thank goodness my partner didn't have to work that day!

    Turned out it had a nail in it. All repaired now, but I'm paranoid about it going flat again.

  2. I realy enjoyed your post- sorry to enjoy your chagrin at the tyre!
    Nice pics of Climber, & yes, he does look worryingly at 'home'.

  3. Isn't it funny how a good day becomes an absolute wreck. You have abviously planned things down to the minute with departure times and the exchange of children, but you can't plan for everything! How frustrating.
    My Pete and I went to the movies by ourselves for the first time in years about a month ago. When we came out we had a flat tyre, someone had let it down because there was nothing wrong with it. I just sat in the gutter and offered encouraging words while watching him change it.

  4. Love the second picture of Climber on the motorcycle. Adorable. I'm so sorry about your tyre. I have to say though, I'd be absolutely pathetic if I had a flat tyre. Glad it's over and that you did get your back sorted after all. I think I'll go have a glass of wine to help you celebrate the end of your ordeal!

  5. A flat what? Oh tyre - those round things on the car right? Never changed one; wouldn't have a clue. I'd have to call the NRMA! Pathetic I know. It's not that I'm a girly girl - I hold my own in the heavy lifting department etc in the garden, hands dirty, nails a joke.... But cars, not my forte. But I grew up watching car racing with my Dad (just like the cricket and football) and Mr J is an amateur car racer himself. You'd think I'd have a small clue :-)

    Climber looks like he's ready to roll! Mr J is looking for a navigator in the guise of one the girls. I think he may have found it in the darling. That rain looks refreshing as well.

    Glad you eventually got to your appointment (yes, everybody under 30 should definitely stop smirking and take note).

  6. He looks like he was born on it.

    And I can't change a flat tyre. Not to save my life.

    But I can park the hearse almost anywhere.

  7. I'm the same as you with the flat tyres, I know how to change them but the muscles get in the way. I haven't owned a car in years, but I remember years ago getting into my car in the garage and it just sinking down on one side as soon as I sat down as the tyre deflated. Which wasn't great for the confidence: sit in car and the tyres can't cope! But then I went to change it, knowing exactly what to do, and the bloody thing wouldn't budge. Had to go next door and ask the neighbour to help me. I was annoyed at the car, the tyre and myself, so crappy day all around.

    These days it's so much easier not having a car!

  8. Flat tires are such a pain. I've changed a few in my time, but these days I call the RAA and get the nice man to change it for me.

    The humidity is the worst at the moment. My hair is a huge puff ball... but those curls are gorgeous.

  9. I hate days like that when all you want to do is the one thing you have to do and fate intervenes in impossibly irritating ways!
    I usually have a dentist appointment scheduled for months and Hubby will discover he is out of town that day, or a massage arranged the day a child has chickenpox. A flat tyre will put a dampner on any day!

  10. Yes. There were some strong suggestions that I should have to know how to change a tire when I first got my license (I was 16). I explained that I already knew how to change a tire: pull out my AAA club card and call for help!

    Perfect ringlets up there by the way!

  11. Dear god: like he was born to it. Or possibly on it.

    By the way, CONGRATULATIONS! You very aptly won the special prize in Root Shoot Marry this week - although you may not thank me for it when you see it!

    You need to email me your postal address.

  12. I think the one with Climber on his trike watching Mr Fixit with the tyre is a hoot!

    It's a classic "council" pose, how many council workers does it take to dig a hole? 5. 1 to dig, 4 to stand around leaning on shovels giving advice.

  13. But the most important question - did you get Fixit to drill a hole in the old tyre, thread rope through it and turn it into a swing!

    I don't have the faintest idea how to change a flat tyre. All that pesky cardboard is just too hard to deal with.

  14. "Why keep a dog and bark yourself" indeed. Trouble starts when said dog takes a job several thousand miles away. Am keeping the AAA card dusted off and ready to roll...

  15. The last flat tyre I had was when 4 months pregnant with "Whelan". I do know how to change one (once had one on the parkway, in my early 20's, and was managing v. capably to change it myself, when all these blokes stopped and insisted they fix it, what could I do!), but this time the bloody wheel nuts refused to come off as they had been permanently fixed into place by one of those whizzy sounding wheel nuts do-er-upperers that you see demonstrated so beautifully in Cars ("Whelan" knew exactly how to use one when visiting a friend of his Dad, causing them all to say "how the hell did he know what that tool was for??", clearly they haven't watched Cars as many times as I have now). When I finally got to work (I think my spare was flat too), my then boss told me off because I was late and pregnant. Bastard! Yhese days I would call the NRMA!

    Your day sounded like the one I had just recently, where the horse needed the vet YET AGAGIN (outstanding account back over $1000, sigh..) then "Buttons" threw such a breath holding tanty that she passed out in my arms, then drove her ride-on car straigh off the balcony into the garden bed, then nearly scalded herself turning the hot tap on full bore whilst in the bath. Think I had 3 glasses of wine that evening!

  16. Re the flat tyre drama..Don't bother changing it . Use the wonderful product called 'SSHHH' (or something like that). Instant flat tyre fixit.available at most service stations (Around $15)and very handy to keep in the boot. all you do is shake it up for a few mins put its nozzle on the valve of your flat tyre(once you have established there are no nails etc) and hey presto! watch your tyre inflate before your eyes.You can drive for a couple of days on it until it is more convenient to change and gives you time to check your spare! All over in 10 mins.We have used them over the years and they are fantastic.Flat tyres always happen at the worst possible time.
    ps I used to spend a lot of money to get curls and they were never as lovely as Cherubs!Humidity has some reward...


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