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A Bingle

I had a little bingle the other night, a small prang (Australian slang for a car accident.) In the UK I’m told they also call them a shunt, and in the US a fender-bender.  Nobody was hurt, the damage to the cars was superficial — mainly a little bit of panel-beating and some paint required and in my case a new front indicator light.

Really, the worst thing about it was the embarrassment. It was my fault. I was doing a U turn and though I checked the rear-view mirror, I didn’t see the car in my blind spot, and when I pulled out — Bang! 

The even more embarrassing part then followed. See, I wasn’t properly dressed — I was wearing a t-shirt dress (that also works as a nightie) and showing my bare (hairy) legs. I was also wearing my fluffy sheepskin slippers. No make-up, and no mask. 

In my defence, I’d only come out to post a parcel full of tax papers, driving to the mail exchange (as opposed to walking to the corner post office) so that it would go out that night and arrive at its destination the following business day. The plan was that I’d be out of the car for 10 seconds, max, and nobody would see me — it’s not a busy road and there are usually no people around.

 So now having caused a bingle, not only did I have to get out of the car in all my (lack of) glory, I’d also come out without my bag, so I didn’t have my phone, or my reading glasses or my licence. There wasn’t even a paper or pen in the car. 

English was not the other driver’s first language so he handed me his phone to type in my details — but without my reading glasses, I couldn’t see to type them. “Hang on, I should have a spare pair of glasses in the car,” I told him, and dived into the glove box. Yay! I found the tubular metal container that holds my $2 shop skinny emergency glasses.  I opened it and triumphantly produced . . . a fold up fan! Well, it gets hot here in summer and an emergency fan is often as useful as emergency glasses. Though not on this occasion. The fan exactly fits the glasses container. <g> You can see the folded-up fan in the container on the left, glasses in the one on the right, and a similar fan behind them, opened up.

I think the poor guy was starting to think he was dealing with a nutcase!

Luckily I hadn’t yet posted my parcel so I showed him my sender’s name and address and he took a photo of it and seemed happier for that. He was really very nice, for which I was grateful. 

Anyway, it’s all dealt with now, my insurance company is handling it, and all I have to do is pay the excess, and take my car to the mechanic to get my indicator light fixed. It’s an old car and my friends have been suggesting that rather than get it fixed, I should buy a new car. So guess who’s been surfing car sales on the web? Oh, the temptation. . . 

And oh, dear readers, I succumbed! Here is my new car — a Hyundai i30 Active hatchback. It looks bigger in the photo, which I pinched off the dealer’s site, but it’s just as red and shiny. And it’s full of (slightly intimidating) technology!!! With a handbook the size of a brick. And it beeps and flashes at me for reasons I haven’t yet discovered. But it’s very smooth and quiet to drive, and I’m sure we’re going to get along just fine (as soon as it stops telling me what to do!)

Award Time

 Nominations for the Australian Romance Readers Association annual awards are up — and I’m delighted to see that my books (and I ) have five mentions:

Favourite Historical — Marry in Scarlet

Readers’ Choice Favourite Christmas or Holiday Romance — The Christmas Bride

Favourite Continuing Series — The Chance Sisters series

Favourite Continuing Series — The Marriage of Convenience series

And I’m also listed in the Favourite Australian Author category.

Thank you to the ARRA organizers and to the members who nominated my books. I’m thrilled and very honored.  The full list of finalists is here. Congratulations to all my fellow finalists.


A dawn smile

Last night I went out for dinner and to play cards with friends — only the second time in over a year, because we’ve been under various levels of Lockdown for most of the year.  Anyway  it was a “wee small hours” finish, but I had to get up early for a 7am zoom meeting with the Word Wenches — my blog group.  

Fitting in with US (east and west coast times) as well as UK and Australian times is tricky. So I got up at 6.30am to be ready  (I’m generally an early riser, but not after a 2am + finish the night before.) I made a large mug of industrial strength morning coffee and gave my dog Millie her morning bone. She raced outside with it and immediately started barking furiously. So, aware of my neighbors who live close and were probably still asleep, I raced outside to shut her up, and lo! She was defending me from these gently hissing floating monsters.

It was not only a beautiful dawn, but it’s the first time the balloons have flown in over a year — since CoVid happened. They used to be quite frequent — they take off from a field near my house, and I always saw them because my dog goes bananas — so this was a really cheering and hopeful sight.

I stood there like a loon, waving at the tiny figures in the baskets, which I don’t normally do but seeing them floating overhead once more felt a bit like a good omen.

And then I went inside and chatted on Zoom with my Word Wench friends. 

What a lovely start to the day.