It was the nail what done it

It was a hot Friday in July. We dashed to our seaside getaway after school and arrived 20 minutes before the swimming pool closed. A quick change and we had 15 minutes of splashing about.

On our return to the car, Granny noticed that one of the tyres was flat. That’s a job for the AA then. We unloaded the car, had supper, went for a walk on the beach, watched the first night of the Proms and went to bed.

Everyone was up early and Granny rang the AA before breakfast. They said they’d come in half an hour. Just time to make bacon bagels. Andy from the AA arrived. He put air in the tyre and we all piled into the car. Andy followed us to the garage to make sure that we got there safely. Everyone waved good bye.

The garage was busy. They couldn’t even look at the tyre for an hour! How was a granny going to keep three children entertained for an hour? We walked. Down the hill. We found a beer can on the way and watched its contents trickle down the pavement and over the kerb. We kept walking. Were we never going to get to the park? And there it was. Right by the bus stop, like some one said.

The playground was quite small with something for everyone – balancing, climbing, swinging, dangling. We watched a man doing his keep fit exercises. Grandson led the others through the maze of tennis courts, through the interconnecting gates.

Fortified by snacks from the garage opposite, we climbed the hill again. The beer had all dried up.
Grandson found a pine cone and a long piece of cord. He made a swingy, whirly thing. Granny dropped granddaughter’s hoody and we had to retrace our steps to find it.

When we got back to the garage, the man was patching the hole made by a nail. We had to wait for the glue to dry. We waited, and waited. At last it was all done. Granny was impressed. The garage man wanted her to come back another day so that he could check the effectiveness of the repair.

We got back in the car. We were on our way. No one had cleaned their teeth, made their beds or done their chores! It would soon be lunch time, so we went to the village for sausages and, of course, Saturday sweets.

Granny did go back to the garage. As the man suspected, the patch was not entirely satisfactory as the nail had wiggled around and done some damage, so he changed the tyre. But we did get home safely that day.

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He got it free!

Grandson and I went to the DIY store.

“Have you got any off cuts my grandson can have?” I asked.

“What does he want them for?”

“You know, banging together with nails – to make things.”

We went to the wood store. Malcolm was there. He had been cutting up some wood for the Scouts. He went to have a look and came back with five chunky pieces and a big, flat piece.

“Will these do?”

They did. He even put a sticker on, so we didn’t have to pay!

The next day, we went to a house clearance sale. Grandson found a broken, musical cigarette box, made of wood. A bit like this:

The lid opened and trays raised up displaying the cigarettes, if there had been any. He was entranced and wanted to buy it. He asked the man if he could buy it. They had quite a discussion, and the man gave it to him.

Later grandson and his mother did some research on the Internet and found out its possible value. They found out how the musical mechanism works and managed to get it working. It plays a piece of Neapolitan music, Funiculi, Funicula, written to celebrate the opening of a funicular up Mount Vesuvius. The box still needs mending and Grandson says this is going to be the first thing that he fixes and keeps.

And the off cuts? Grandson got the tool box and power tool out, and with a bit of help from his mum, made a side table.

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