TODAY was a very sad occasion in the Rippers household. My beloved Corsa, Basil, was unceremoniously hooked up to a tow truck and taken off into the wild blue yonder to be scrapped. It was a very painful experience.
Of course, I knew Bas wasn't going to get any better. He has been sitting outside, attracting the unwelcome attention of divebombing pigeons, for two months now. In fact, when I went to turn his ignition there wasn't a spark of life in him. I guess I knew it would come to this but, in car terms, it was like turning off the life support machine.
I loved that old Corsa and curse the numpty who drove too fast down Blackberry Hill when the snow was at its worst this winter, somehow failing to realise that he might lose control of his vehicle and slide off the road. He rammed into the side of poor Basil, leaving his back wheel crumpled. When the bloke came from the insurance company he was in no doubt the car was a write off - and this only a month after the MOT garage had told me that he would be good to go for another two years if I looked after him properly.
Still, I guess Mrs Rippers takes a small portion of the blame. After all, it was she who asked me if I named my cars. Until then, it hadn't even occured to me. A car was just a mechanical object to get me from A to B.
But to keep her sweet I called my first motor, the black Fiat Tipo, Boo, because that is what it said on the number plate. And when Boo became, shall we say, rather susceptible to flooding in the winter on the basis some young crook had tried to rip her door off, I moved on to Basil. He only cost me £500 and was meant to be a little runaround, but once I got the job at the Screws his value to me increased immensely. For six months he took me to London and back without a hiccup, and I was astounded at his resilience, particularly when the mileometer went through the 100,000 barrier.
Well, no use crying over spilt milk I guess. But I am sure people can relate to the way I am feeling now.
RIP Bas, you will be greatly missed.
No news is good news of Ridsdale, but I am starting to feel a bit of a fraud. We have sticky boards down behind all the units in the kitchen having established that the elusive rat was getting in through a hole in the back wall. I have to check them every 12 hours to see if the rodent has got himself into a sticky situation. But it seems the horse has bolted, or at least the furry mammal fled, before the latest action plan.
Shouldn't grumble I suppose, but somehow I think he is laughing at me from some cosy corner of the allotment.
Talking of allotments, it was always Mrs R's intention of going out back with spade and pitchfork and becoming some sort of latter day Felicity Kendall. But that was before any sign of a little Rippers. Now she has finally admitted that hauling herself down to some muddy patch of ground and planting the odd turnip seems a bit of a pipedream. So the keys have gone back and we shall sit in our little cottage and watch all the other Alan Titmarsh clones toil away on the land. Ho hum.