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Saturday, January 24, 2009

The good thing about eye ointment is that it makes your vision so blurry you can barely see your broken-down car. And frankly that's the only thing keeping me sane right now. I'd say it's been a trying day, but I'm not so much trying as giving up.

Things got off to a good start when I woke up this morning with even puffier eyes than I had yesterday. The bags under my eyes looked like they were carrying shopping. Due to tiredness and a slight lack of confidence in my own appearance, I never did make it to Asda last night, but having scared myself in the mirror this morning, I headed straight around the corner to the nearest chemist.

We stock approximately fourteen squillion tubes of chloramphenicol eye ointment at work, which we buy for about 3p a box (don't quote me on those figures), so I was hoping they'd sell me some of that over the counter. Needless to say they wouldn't. But having examined me and quickly recommended that I see a doctor (which is difficult when you've got an eye infection), the pharmacist agreed to sell me some alternative eye ointment. It turned out to be 'Simple Eye Ointment', so called because there's nothing to it. We stock that at work too, for about the same price, and it's just a mixture of yellow soft paraffin, liquid paraffin and wool fat. Which I think is the pub in Emmerdale.

Knowing how much it costs, and allowing for retail mark-up, I was naturally expecting to be charged about 29p. So imagine my delight when the assistant scanned the tube and the cash register came up with £5.19. I'd have rubbed my eyes, but frankly they were too sore. So having already taken leave of one of my five senses, I abandoned the other four and handed over the money.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the eye ointment does appear to have helped. On the downside, I can't see a thing for about half an hour after putting it in, which is a problem because I had to look after Amelie all afternoon while Lisa went to get her hair cut. Fortunately I was able to pinpoint her location using two of my remaining senses. I followed the crying until I trod on her.

Which brings me to this evening. I'd planned to spend it shopping at Asda, and to be honest I very nearly did. I actually spent it at the Asda petrol station, blocking a pump with my broken-down car, and waiting for ninety minutes in the freezing cold for the AA to turn up. Despite having spent £500 on a complete service last October, my car's been as sick as a parrot for the past couple of months, and now I know why. It seems my head gasket was on the way out, and the problem wasn't, as my local garage told me, "just the cold, damp weather".

Anyhoo, as the AA man towed my car home at 9:15pm, minus the shopping which I'd never managed to do, he told me that it was likely to cost around £600 to fix. Assuming I think it's worth getting it done. Which I don't. Something tells me I've driven this car for the last time. I just wish I hadn't put thirty quid's worth of petrol in it two minutes before it died.