It's a good thing I had the 'Dream Sunday' because Friday and Saturday I had a double recurring nightmare!
The only tenuous link that this story has to do with the Parish Walk, is that it will be a minor miracle if I manage to arrive at the start line, never mind put in the organisation and planning needed for an 85 mile race.
I don't know what it is about me and keys but we've never been comfortable bedfellows which I suppose is handy in some ways as they can hurt when you roll on top of them but has cost me thousands of minutes over the years in searching time, not to mention cash for things like having to call out the autoshield people to retrieve them from inside the car.
Friday morning was pouring down, so I had to pick Irene up to bring her down to work. I stood in the rain, waiting for her to get her things together, then locked the car by remote control and that's the last I (or anyone else so far as I'm aware) saw of the key. It has to be in the Hotel somewhere but over the the ensuing days, I have looked everywhere, including the bins and short of pulling the place apart stone by stone, I've done everything.
Saturday was the third and final time that I have been involved through my son Terence playing hockey in the Manx Youth Games. It is a really tremendous experience, particularly the Olympic Games style opening ceremony which culminates with a mass aerobic warm up before they all disappear off to their respective sports.
My Mother-in-Law also came down to watch but there isn't any seating by the synthetic pitch, so I had what turned out to be a disastrous idea. I went over to find my athletic chums with the intention of blagging a clubhouse key and borrowing a chair as she isn't too good on her feet. Unfortunately, Allan Callow had temporarily disappeared and Bridget had given hers to the Tag Rugby people but Elizabeth Corran's was in her car in the park over by the main n.s.c. building. As instructed, I removed the only key from the compartment in between the two front seats.
Many a time, I've watched Allan struggling to use his old key in the lock, so I wasn't particularly perturbed when it didn't fit perfectly. I fiddled with it a little before eventually managing insertion but it still wouldn't turn. Then, I could get it out! Then yippee, it did start going round! ... and round... and round. The teeth had totally snapped off the spindle and were stuck fast in the eye!
Panic set in and I went back to Elizabeth. The offended key was the wrong one and the correct one was actually in the compartment between the two seats but actually at dashboard height. Well, I pushed and prodded but I couldn't budge the broken one in the slightest. My big fear was that the tag rugby crowd would turn up looking for kit they'd left in the Harriers Clubhouse.
The feeling of panic was growing, so I asked the N.S.C. staff to help me. As you can imagine, they were delighted, right in the middle of probably their busiest day of the year but I managed to persuade them that the Manx Harriers Clubhouse did have something to do with them because I thought that there was kit in there. To his credit, Colin McMullen brought out his super-duper pen knife style tool but still nothing would shift.
Okay, I'd just have to bite the bullet and call out a locksmith:
24 hour Company no.1 : Answerphone
24 hour Company No.2 : 3 locksmiths- one on holiday, two off sick.
Oh Heck! (or words to that effect!) and my poor mother-in-law still waiting for her seat!
Did you ever start something with the best intentions, then really wish you hadn't bothered?
Fortunately for me, Colin now had the bit between his teeth and brought out the heavy artillery i.e. big posh toolkit and he managed to remove the handle, though breaking it in the process. Finally, he was able to push out the broken key part and Elizabeth's correct key turned perfectly.
However, a search of the N.S.C. stores was carried out and there wasn't a spare door handle anywhere, so if anyone reading this is wondering why the Manx Harriers Clubhouse now has a shiny handle, we had to pinch the one off the storeroom door. I have told the chairman and offered to replace it.
So there was at least a happy ending to this part of the story as Irene's, Mum, Irene (and you wonder why I look perpetually confused) got her seat and a cup of tea (left the money by the till.)
The Ford Focus is left where I parked it on Friday. We have a key but it won't turn the engine over and apparently, you need two keys to program a third or you have to pay £4 million pounds to recover the car, then a further £13.6 million to put everything through the computer to create new codes and finally about £45 pound per key for every copy.
The moral of the story: If I come and ask you if I can borrow your key, punch me in the face.