We were at the little port of Uig early… we were leaving nothing to chance. We knew there was a restroom we could use, a garage and, if it were open at that time of morning, a café where we could get a cup of coffee, all within yards of the queue for the ferry. Sorted.
Not knowing what the amenities were on Harris, and with a very soggy, self-deflating tyre, we decided to use the facilities, then fill up with fuel and air. The garage was still closed for fuel, but the air-pump was just around the side. I put the pound into the machine, attached the hose to the tyre and waited. Nothing happened. We tried again, another pound… still nothing. With the third pound, the pump did do something at last. Unfortunately, it was the wrong thing… and we were left with a totally flat tyre that was now taking us nowhere.
You can imagine how we felt. Miles from help, unable to move, with half an hour before the garage would open and forty-five minutes before the ferry queue closed… and we were right next to the queue and helpless!
It seemed we were not meant to go to Harris after all. And that is the problem with the way we work… it is okay to call in places as we pass. It is fine to have a general meander somewhere we fancy seeing… as long as it ties in with whatever we are working on at the time. But heaven help us if we try to force the issue and go somewhere just because we want to… we have to wait to be ‘called’. If not, we are either prevented by some strange occurrence… like exploding coffee pots and third degree burns… or we will ‘get’ very little beyond the surface stuff.
Now, I was pretty sure we had been called… all the signs and coincidences and general weirdness were there. But then, we really wanted to get across the sea to Harris and Lewis…
I usually carry an air pump, but had not repacked the car after clearing the boot to pack it with the stuff for the last workshop. After a night in the car, my phone was completely dead. That’ll teach me to forget the car-charger. Stuart’s was little better… but he did have a bit of battery left and so, feeling an idiot as I explained the problem, while sitting in a garage beside the offending air pump, the RAC were summoned.
They could, they said, get someone there in fifteen minutes and, as long as my spare was okay, which it was, we’d be on that ferry. Twenty minutes later, with no mechanic in sight, the phone rang. It was a garage in Portree. The job had only just reached their system. It would take a good half an hour to get someone across the island and then they would have to change the wheel while we watched the gates close on the ferry…
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