Warning lights? Why are they on? I’d just finished my online work in The Red Lion pub, a warm place with free wifi and great lunches, when the warning lights came on as I started the car. I pressed every button I could find and in the end the manual led me to the button hidden under my glasses case. I must have accidentally turned them on myself. As I pulled out in to the High Street my little lion-hearted car mis-fired. Climbing up the steep hill towards my yurt and home, the light leeching out of the sky, the car faltered more and even in 1st gear decided this was a hill too much. Maybe the burning smell earlier at the top of the hill overlooking the deep, dark lake of Llyn Clewedog was from under my bonnet after all. I clicked the hazards on, turned the engine off and allowed gravity to help me reverse down the narrow hill. I discovered the brakes don’t work so well when the engine is off! Two garages later and my little car is on its way back to London Colney where the dealer I bought it from is honouring the three month warranty even though we’re a week over. My £90 investment in Brittania Breakdown Cover a wise move. I recommend them whole-heartedly. They didn’t flinch at taking the car almost 200 miles, I didn’t need to be with it, and they made it effortless for me. I feel well looked after.
But losing my car threw me in to a spin as I’d promised to collect my Mum from Newport Services two days later. A synchronised drop off – my sister driving her from London and then I take her on the second leg of the journey back to her home on the stunningly beautiful Welsh Coast. I’d have to hire a car. I had to walk in to Llani – a good four miles up and down hills and I enjoyed the stretch particularly without rain! The nearest car hire is about a half hour drive from there and some new friends kindly helped me out. Hardly any cars available and then another challenge. I have no idea where my driving licence is. Not only that, as I haven’t had a car for years I don’t remember what the last address is on the licence. Calling the DVLA from the busy Friday street in Newtown I give two sets of post codes to get access to my licence. Both wrong! I’ve run out of chances, she says, and hangs up! I’m stunned. Things aren’t simple when you live a little outside the box like I do.
Okay….lets see if I can get hold of Llani Car Club. They have three cars, nineteen members and its a great idea. I have more hurdles to go through. My voluntary bankruptcy a month under six years ago threatened to stop my application as the insuring under-writers are a bit straight laced about that. But at three minutes to closing on the Friday evening I get the go-ahead and I can borrow a car for the weekend. I had no idea quite how stressed I’d become.
Each step of the way with my car, each step of the way through these water-logged fields, each freaky moment deep in the night when I’m awake and my imagination is creating images of dire consequences, each time I light the fire to breathe warmth in to the cold and damp yurt, each time I want to go online and can’t I ask myself if this is all worth it. And every single time I know it is beyond measure worth it.
As we grow older it’s easy to start thinking we’re past our sell by date, that we become ‘less’, that we lose our strength and our abilities. I’ve met many women younger than me whose children have left home, or their husband has found greener pastures and they have lost that sense of themselves. They’re so used to being defined as a mother and a wife that when those labels are no longer so relevant, they have no idea who they are anymore. Choosing to winter in a yurt is a fine antidote for that I can tell you – not that I suffer either of those as I’ve never been a mother or a wife, but I understand.
There is an awakening of the crone….no matter what style of life we’ve lived, we’ve lived, and through our living have amassed wisdom. It is time for us to embrace our crone-hood, enjoy who we are as we un-layer ourselves from previous labels and choose new and fresh inspiring ones to play with, and share our wisdom. Who is with me?