As the run up to this show was so eventful, we were hoping for a calm day or two just "doing what we do" at an event. But oh no, chaos insisted on ruling for at least another few days.
We arrived at Frome around 5pm on Friday evening. The weather was dry and warm, but a bit breezy. Bernard had driven beautifully all the way through the twisting roads of Dorset, Wiltshire and into Somerset with only a couple of complaining backfires. Our stand was set up in an hour and a half so we still had enough time in daylight to have a wander around before dinner and sleep.
Overnight the wind picked up to a gale and the rain lashed down heavily, but it stayed warm making for a very uncomfortable and disturbed night in the horsebox. By morning we were exhausted - the wind had calmed a little and the rain had passed leaving a murky grey sky. By 9am we had had breakfast, the sun was breaking through the overcast sky and lots of happy show visitors had started to filter through to our countryside area. I decided to get out the camera. It didn't work....ah....I'd forgotten to put the memory card back in! Never mind I had the video camera with me, I could take stills with that....ah....it'd got a flat battery! Oh well.
We kept busy all day working on a few footstools and a rush chair. Did I get to try any cheese? No! But we did have a very nice kangaroo meat pasty for lunch. By 6.30pm we were packed and ready to leave. Would Bernard start? Thankfully yes, he sparked first time, so we said quick goodbyes to our fellow crafters and set off for home. We were making really good time until 10 miles from home. We ran out of fuel. I should say here that there are two remaining gremlins in Bernard, the first lives in the battery charging system, it doesn't always work so sometimes the battery just goes flat for no reason and the other gremlin is in the fuel guage, that doesn't work at all. So we have a big stick for dipping the petrol tank to check the level and we try to preserve the battery wherever possible.
So picture the scene...it is dusk, we are on a very fast straight country road trying to hitch a lift to the nearest petrol station which is about 7 miles away. Eventually a very considerate man stops in a van with strangely blacked out windows and offers my other half a lift, which he gratefully accepts. Meanwhile I stay with the truck, trying to make the speeding motorists aware that we have broken down before they smash into the back of the box! I talked with our sons on the mobile, neither of them could come to our rescue, one was working and the other at a friends house without his car. I stand next to Bernard listening to the crickets at the roadside hoping that my other half hasn't been abducted. It's getting dark and I dare not turn on the horsebox lights it would flatten what battery we may, or may not have left, (remember the second Gremlin?)
Then there were flashing blue lights.........the police arrive. After the usual questions, "what's happened, what are you doing about it...etc" the two officers were very helpful. They parked back from the truck and put on their warning lights. I was glad of the company! Within ten minutes the same strange black car arrived with my other half and petrol can on board, what a relief. The fuel is poured in, but it will take some pumping up to the engine, will the battery have enough power to start the engine? It seemed to take a lifetime but thankfully it did start. The policemen must have thought I was a madwoman because as the engine fired I shouted, "Yeeesssss, there is a God" Maybe that's why they followed us half way home!
The very kind man who rescued us said that he was only able to offer a lift because he had no-one else on board. He is an Undertaker.
(Note to self - fix the trucks Gremlins)