The Ferryman, the Permit and Pandas

The plan last night was to hook the trailer to the car, drive across London from North West to South East and collect  daughter number one and her gear from her University Halls of Residence at the end of her first year. It worked perfectly the other way around last September, so what could possibly go wrong?

 At 00.55am this morning when he was driving down Park Lane for the third time in two hours my husband was hollering, “What do you get if you cross a Classicist, a Writer and half a Doctor? A sodding bunch of stupid arses that’s what!”  He was bare chested, by the way, because he had removed his tee shirt after profuse sweating during the earlier great heave ho.

When the trailer had been stacked high with her clothes, handbags, books, iron, ironing board, mini fridge, pots, pans, shoes, toiletries, buckets, photographs, soft toys and empty souvenir bottles of alcohol she had the cheek to declare, “You are so embarrassing! Why do we have to look like the Beverley Hillbillies everywhere we go?” Her new duvet didn’t make it home. That went  straight into the dustbin because she’d used it’s stuffing  to make hairy panda chests for herself and all her friends last weekend. Stella McCartney’s got competition.

Then there was the small matter of my car which has been on loan to daughter number two. She lives close to daughter number one. Daughter number three needs that car later this week. The girls and I combined our intellects and decided that I would collect the car en route from collecting daughter number one. Daughter number two had tickets for ‘Sex and the City’  and wouldn’t be home but agreed to lock her set of car keys in the boot. I had the second  set to give to daughter number three to pick up the car from an agreed halfway point which is why two sets of keys needed to be in play. Are you keeping up here?

It was all under control until weighed down with  student stuff, dinner-less and wanting to watch ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ before midnight I had a mental aberration and said to my husband, “Go straight home, I’ll sort out the other car business tomorrow.” I’d muffed up and didn’t know it, and he didn’t spot it , so by my calculations that makes him as much to blame as me, obviously, doesn’t it?

The flaw in my ‘later on’ plan which I realised when we got home was that my car, still outside daugter number two’s house was immoveable because the keys were locked in the boot. And she lives in a 7am tow away zone. and hadn’t put a permit in the car because she wasn’t expecting it to be there.  As my husband and daughter number one unpacked the car and trailer  I realised what I had done. Tomorrow was too late. She needed keys to get into the car to save us £120 fine. 

I  had a brainwave and called a local mini cab company and asked them to send a driver to collect a package from me in North West London and deliver it to my daughter in South East London then bring me a package (my car keys) back. This would allow daughter number two to retrieve her set of keys from the boot, put a permit in it and drive the car back to me later this week in time to deliver it part way to her sister, daughter number three.

The man on the cab switchboard sounded suspicious. “What is this package?” he demanded. I didn’t want to say car keys in case the driver decided to nick the car when he got there so – thinking I could hide the keys in a cereal box – I answered “Cornflakes.”

He snarled down the ‘phone, “She likes her ‘cornflakes‘, your ‘daughter‘, does she? Piss Off Missus! We have nothing to do with drugs. I’ve got your number and I’m calling the police!”

So  my husband and I drove back across London at midnight to unlock a car that I had been a quarter of a mile away from two hours earlier. When he’d stopped shouting he talked about that well known lateral thinking problem – the one with the ferryman, the chicken the fox and the bag of feed. And I still haven’t worked it out.

12 comments to The Ferryman, the Permit and Pandas

  • Suddenly my life seems all serene and peaceful.

  • Anna May

    Fran, give drug dealing and Panda outfits a go. It’ll surely take your mind off RSI.
    Anna May x

  • Been there, done that, got the Tshirt. Though you’d be surprised how few people will buy the drugs off you when you’re standing on a street corner looking like you’ve escaped from the zoo.

    The RSI seems better since I moved the computer keyboard to a sensible place. Just as well, as I’ve written a zillion reports in three days. Now I just have frozen muscles in my neck. Oh joy.

  • Ginny Willis

    Oh Anna. How do you stay sane? You must use up all of your energy in these stressful situations. I should try it – it might help me lose weight!!

  • Anna May

    Fran, happy to hear your RSI is improving.

    Ginny, I so don’t deserve to be fat.

    Anna May x

  • Diddy

    Cornflakes? Drugs?

  • Jan

    Anna have you ever thought about turning your life into a sit-com? I could just see it on BBC 1. Who would play you? I wonder if Kate Winslet is free.

  • Diddy, you read it here first.

    Hello Jan, hope your daughter got nhome without incident after her first year.

    Anna May x

  • Oh and Jan, you are too kind with your Kate Winslet suggestion. I think the hunt is on for a Nora-Batty-alike……and if it was radio I think Mike Deller would be perfect!
    Anna May x

  • Jan

    My daughter doesn’t finish for another couple of weeks. We have a rather less complicated plan of action, although we haven’t carried it out yet so who knows!

  • Julie Pereira

    We’re all dimwits at times. Hindsight is a perfect science as they say so how come you only have one set of car keys? Might be worth getting another set. I can’t believe you would have out the keys in a cornflake packet and has them driven across London!! the Met Police would definitey be interested.

    As for Jan’s thought about who would play you on the TV – that’s a great question on which I shall ponder. Kate W. is too haughty.

  • Debbie

    I felt exhausted just reading this…. 🙂